Thursday, October 29, 2009

Low Carb unhealthy trend hanging around..

The Biggest Loser on NBC has certainly inspired thousands of viewers across the country to get motivated about weight loss, getting fit, and eating healthier. As a supermarket dietitian I bartered my services with a local version of the Biggest Loser for recognition for my company as a sponsor. I wanted to share with you one of many emails that I have received from contestants...basically, they are very similar comments about the quantity of carbohydrates that have been recommended in the personalized dietary assessments provided by yours truly. Ok, here's the email exchange...

Contestant (female): Is that number under carbohydrates correct? I think it says something in the 200's?

Barb/Nutritionist: Yep – the carb number is correct. Unfortunately due to the media blitz of low-carb diets many people are under the wrong impression that carbs are bad. Carbohydrates are necessary for energy production in the human body (basically, to sustain life!). It’s true that Americans consume more than recommendations and are likely to eat more of these types of calories and so gain weight.

The CHO recommendations for all BL2 contestants is on the conservative side. If you want to restrict, you can try it, however, what I’ve seen time and time again is that it causes rebound weight gain. So, you will lose weight initially but unless you maintain this style of eating for the rest of your life you will gain the weight back and then some.

Carbohydrates are found in practically all foods – dairy, vegetables, fruit, and of course grains and legumes (beans). This excludes pure protein and pure fat. One cannot live along on protein and fat as it doesn’t supply glucose to the body. The strategy is to choose mostly whole grains (high in fiber), more beans, low-fat dairy products and be aware of portion sizes and what your personal serving size goals are daily. I hope this helps!

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