I've been an ardent supporter of a low-carb lifestyle for the better part of the past decade. Like many, I embarked on my low-carb lifestyle for vanity's sake. I wanted to lose weight. At the time, Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution had been revised and was quite popular. I picked up a copy and eagerly read it cover to cover. I was convinced this was the answer to weight loss and weight management for me. I did lose the vanity weight with little effort and have maintained a healthy and fit figure for a number of years*.
Fact or Fiction: Five Low-Carb Myths
1. Myth: Low-Carb Diets Eliminate Fruits & Vegetables
Take a look at the graphic above. See that long list of vegetables? I eat them all. While some days I eat more than others, I strive to eat at least 5-7 servings of nutrient dense veggies a day. While the fruit list is a bit shorter than the veggie list, I indulge guilt-free in fruits that are low in sugar but high in phytonutrients.
2. Myth: Low-Carb Diets Cause Kidney Damage Due to High Protein
There has never been a study that has shown protein harms the kidneys in otherwise healthy persons. In fact, there are some studies that actually show that low-carb diets actually improve kidney function. Either way, I get annual lab work done and my kidney function has never been better. Besides, a properly designed low-carb plan is not high protein but moderate protein which research has shown to improve satiety and support lean body mass.
3. Myth: Low-Carb Diets Promote Cardiac Risk
As mentioned above I get annual lab work done and according to my latest labs, my blood pressure is low-normal, my fasting blood sugar is in the low 80's, triglycerides are in the 50's, inflammation measured via c-reactive protein is nil and HDL is high. I have no cardiac risk factors whatsoever.
4. Myth: Low-Carb Diets Do Not Promote Fat Loss, Instead You Lose Water & Muscle
For the general population, studies have found that those following a low-carb plan have actually lost less muscle mass than their low-fat counterparts even without exercise. In my particular case, as a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, I love my muscles and wouldn't do anything to jeopardize them. I lift heavy weights and keep an eye on bodyfat percentage and have more lean body mass today than I did a decade ago.
5. Myth: Low-Carb Diets Are Not Suitable For The Long-Term As The Food Gets Boring
I've lived this low-carb lifestyle for a decade plus a few years and have no anticipation of living any other way. As far as the food goes, if you have been a regular reader for even the past few months, you know the food I eat is anything but boring. Have you seen my recipe index?
Want to embark on a LOW-CARB LIFESTYLE?
*I rapidly gained 25 pounds in 2007 when my adrenal glands decided I had stressed them to their breaking point. My body clung onto that weight for a couple of years until my metabolism and adrenals were restored. And then, as quickly as the weight piled on, it came back off. You can read more about this HERE. Below are my before and after pics UPDATED 2/2013.