Healthy Thursday: Low-Calorie vs Low-Carb vs Low-Fat
Everyone wants to be at their healthiest or to lose weight, but experts disagree on what is best. Indeed, there are as many diets, meal plans, health plans to follow as there are people in the world. What is agreed upon, is no matter which one follows, you lose weight (expect for the wild and zany diets). What the diets boil down to, is what is your goal.
In a nutshell:
Low-Calorie Diets are good for losing weight
Low-Carb Diets are good for controlling diabetes
Low-Fat Diets are good for heart health
A low-calorie diet is usually used to achieve weight loss of 1 lb (0.5 kg) to 2 lb (0.9 kg) per week. Most experts do not recommend losing more than 2 lb (0.9 kg) per week unless you are participating in a medically-supervised weight loss plan.
General recommendations for a low-calorie diet include:
- Reducing calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day for women and 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day for men. Women should not restrict themselves to fewer than 1,000 calories per day and men to fewer than 1,200 calories per day without medical supervision.
- Limiting fat intake to no more than 20% to 35% of your total calorie intake. For a person following a 1,500-calorie diet, this means eating no more than 35 to 60 grams of fat per day. Eating foods that are made with fat substitutes (such as olestra) might help decrease your daily fat intake, but they have not been shown to lead to weight loss.
- Choosing complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. About 45% to 65% of your total calorie intake should come from carbohydrate. For someone following a 1,500-calorie diet, this means eating between 170 to 240 grams of carbohydrate per day.
- Choosing low-fat protein sources, such as fish, poultry, and legumes (for example, pinto beans, lentils, and split peas). About 15% to 25% of your total calorie intake should come from protein. For someone following a 1,500-calorie diet, this means eating between 55 to 95 grams of protein per day.
Charity Diabetes UK provides the following brackets for daily carbohydrate intakes.
A research study in 2008 used the following brackets to categorise daily carbohydrate intake:
- Moderate carbohydrate: 130 to 225g of carbs
- Low carbohydrate: under 130g of carbs
- Very low carbohydrate: under 30g of carbs
- VLC: Limit carbs to between 0 and 30 grams a day or about 10 carbs per meal. Diabetics will want to follow LC: about 40 carbs per meal. How low you go depends on how much weight you want to lose.
- Avoid white foods. That includes potatoes, rice, bread, flour, and sugar.
- Make protein part of every meal. Eat about half a gram of protein for every pound of your ideal body weight daily. That works out to about 60 to 85 grams for an average-sized person.
- Drink 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water a day to flush toxins from your body.
- Eat whole foods — organic and raw, if possible.
- Choose healthy fats. Olive oil, avocado, and nuts are smarter choices than butter and cheese. http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diet/low-carb-diabetes-diet.html http://www.webmd.com/diet/living-low-carb
A low-fat diet is one that restricts fat and often saturated fat and cholesterolas well. Low-fat diets are intended to reduce diseases such as heart diseaseand obesity. Reducing fat in the diet can make it easier to cut calories. Fat provides nine calories per gram while carbohydrates and protein each provide four calories per gram, so choosing low-fat foods makes it possible to eat a larger volume of food for the same number of calories. The Institute of Medicinerecommends limiting fat intake to 35% of total calories to help prevent obesity and to help control saturated fat intake.
What they all have in common, is eating less ‘less-healthy’ foods, such as fried, fatty foods, junk foods, empty calorie foods (fast food, packaged, pre-prepared) and eat more lean meats, more leafy green foods (kale, spinach, radish/beet tops, lettuces, cabbages, mustard greens, etc). Cut out or down corn-potatoes-peas-summer squashes and other high starch/high sugar vegetables.
They all also advocate exercising and moving more-don’t be a couch potato or mouse potato. Walk, bike, run, play: anything that gets you moving and sweating. Do the best as you are physically able-talk to your dr, ask for a nutritionist, read about health. Join some sort of activity group-yoga, swimming, basketball. Get moving!