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August 9, 2005

Weight of evidence against low-carb diets

Topics: Health Issues

If you're into low-carb diets you're probably just wasting your money on unhealthy, expensive products that won't help you to lose weight. Consumer magazine "Choice" compared the carbohydrate level, kilojoules, fat content, and cost of 17 different types of low-carb processed foods including pasta and cereals, with the conventional brands, and found that you may be eating less carbohydrates but you're actually eating a smaller amount of food. Many low-carb processed foods contain almost as many carbohydrates and kilojoules as regular products, and cost up to 500per cent more. "For example, the manufacturer's suggested serving size of one of the low-carb pastas was 50g, whereas most other pasta manufacturers will say that a serving size is 100g,"

Choice food policy officer Clare Hughes said manufacturers wanted consumers to believe that low-carb foods were healthier than the regular products. But guess what folks, they're not...

Summary

1. Low-carb versions of processed foods such as pasta certainly have less carbohydrate and usually fewer kilojoules -- but they don't always come cheap and there's little evidence for claims that they're a healthier option.

2. Food manufacturers replace some of the sugars and starches with synthetic ingredients, so you can miss out on valuable nutrients that come with the less highly processed conventional versions.

3. If you want to lose weight you're better off eating whole grains, fruit and vegetables, with lean meat, fish and low-fat dairy products -- and exercising regularly.

Posted by Hyscience at August 9, 2005 2:23 PM

Wow...what a sneaky and flawed hypothesis in your summary of the article. The article discusses the fact that many manufactured/processed low carb food have just as many carbs per calorie as their full-carb cousins. That probably is true, though this doesn't consider fiber content or glycemic impact of different carbs.

But that's not my quibble. Your conclusion ignores the fact that genuine low carb diets prescribes eating fresh, unprocessed low carb foods, such as meats, dairy, vegetables, etc. and NOT starchy processed foods that use tricks to minimize the carbs.

Of course the bottom line is that there is no single daily diet that is suitable for everyone. Low carb is right for certain types of people while low fat/whole grain is right for others.

Posted by: bdeeley at August 9, 2005 7:33 PM



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