Despite all the studies that show low-carb diets work, the message continues to be that you should follow the food pyramid, eat a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates and control your calorie intake. It is understandable, therefore, that many nutritionists attack diets low in carbohydrates and fat. There are paradoxes, but logical results are in line with our evolution.
While the short answer is that low-carb diets work, the long answer is a bit more complicated. It is perfectly possible to have a low carb diet and still be malnourished and/or lose weight. To this extent, here are some key points to consider to put you in the best health possible.
Low-carb does not mean low in fat. Many people who decide to try a low-carb diet are influenced by bad press. For instance, many people have the mistaken idea that eating saturated fats could generate obesity and cardiovascular problems. Many subsequent studies showed that this association was wrong, but the idea that fat used to be (and still is) bad will not go away. The fact is that most of your calories should come from natural fats, including saturated fats.
Low-carb does not mean absence of carbohydrates. It is true that an excess of proteins generates urea, which can be toxic in large amounts. To avoid the problems of excess protein, you should consume good carbohydrates, especially vegetables (ideally potato / sweet potato) and fruits. If you want to lose weight, reduce the fruit amount you eat, 1 or 2 pieces a day as snacks, and choose the ones lowest in sugar.
Low carb, but with real food. Fashionable low-carb processed products, such as low-carb pasta, low carb cookies, etc., are not as good as one may think. These refined products are harmful to your health and your efforts to control your weight. Just because you get products from a well-known source (like Atkins), doesn’t mean they are right for you. Speak to a trainer and your doctor to see what you need and when.
Low carb diets aren’t for everyone. Just because one person benefits from a low-carb diet, doesn’t mean you will. There are people with very good sensitivity to insulin, which generally means they tend to lose weight with a low-carb approach. These people can perhaps eat 50-60% of their calories from carbohydrates if they lead an active life.