Low Carb – High Carb?
Food consists of the three macronutrients fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Each food consists of a different ratio of these macronutrients.
Banana (100g): 22 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g proteins, 0.3 g fats
Red Lentils (100 g): 49 g carbohydrates, 26 g proteins, 1.4 g fats
Walnuts (100 g): 11 g carbohydrates, 15 g proteins, 63 g fats
A diet can be described by it’s percental amount of macronutrients related to the daily calorie intake. The World Health Organisation and the German Society of Nutrition recommend a balanced macronutrient composition which should contain around 50-60 % carbohydrates, 15-20% proteins and 25-30% fats. *
Over the last decades, several “weightloss” diets were created cutting out one of the macronutrients. The idea behind these diets is that the drastic reduction of one macronutrient is key to weightloss.
Low – Carb High Protein Trend
At the moment the low carbohydrate – high protein trend is highly promoted in the media suggesting a carbohydrate percentage of less than 30 % and therefore an increase of protein and fat intake.
To achieve these ratios most diets recommend a high intake of meat and dairy products while abandoning bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and sometimes even fruit.
Is this trend healthy?
Regarding diet composition low carb diets clearly differ from the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and the German Society of Nutrition.
Following a high protein diet short term won’t cause health problems immediately in most people, however in the long run, there are several problems to consider:
High meat intake, particularly red one, leads to a considerable elevation of the colon cancer risk, which already is the second highest cause of death worldwide in all cancers.
Furthermore meat consumption in general is linked to elevated cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Additionally, the ingredients of proteins are eliminated via the kidneys. Uric acid, one of the main degradation products of meat, congests the kidney, easily spoken and thus causes severe damage over time! On the long run, failure of the organ results in dialysis.
Does the low carb diet help to loose more weight?
A very interesting study, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the highest ranked journals worldwide, compared weight-loss of three diet groups: moderate macros, low carb and low fat, over a time span of two years. The results acquired showed that all groups lost about the same amount of weight! Only during the first three months the low carb group was ahead. Considering the substantial health risks associated with this diet, a long term utilization should be well considered.
In a nutshell…
The findings derived from this study once more emphasize that the overall daily caloric intake is more important than macronutrient composition! To achieve a healthy weight long term, a balanced diet rich in whole foods is the most important thing and should be including: fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole wheat products and healthy protein sources.
And to be honest: Who wants to miss out on bread, pasta, potatoes long term anyways? #pizzalove
If you’re interested you can read the original article here!
*This recommendation is only applicable for a state of full health. With any health condition a physician / dietition consultation for a personal evaluation is necessary. This includes pregnant or breast-feeding women.