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Low Carbing It

Meatless Mondays may be gaining popularity in universities and workplaces, and Beyonce may be wearing her ‘Kale’ shirts, but the vegan movement appears to be slowing down.

Between nutritionist coming forward to confess that, perhaps, butter and full-fat milk aren’t the fat making machines we once thought they were, to celebrity after celebrity owing their weight lost to cutting out carbs (Britney Spears, Melissa McCarthy & Sam Smith), low carb diets are on the rise in popularity.

T in the Park Festival, Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, Scotland, Britain - 10 Jul 2015
Mandatory Credit: Photo by RMV/REX Shutterstock (4900655x) Sam Smith T in the Park Festival, Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, Scotland, Britain – 10 Jul 2015

And what’s not to like about low carb diets? According to new research, low carb diets not only cause weight loss, but they also have the potential to decrease cholesterol, blood pressure, prevent certain diseases, and help mental health.

The best part of low carb dieting, aside from being able to enjoy a nice steak and cream in your morning cup of joe, is that it’s a completely unprocessed diet. While veganism allows you to eat a lot of processed foods – we’ve all seen vegan snacks popping up and, yes, Oreos are vegan – it’s much harder to eat processed foods on a low car diet. Think of it in this retrospect, when’s the last time you picked up a processed food that contained less than 10 grams of carbs. Never, I’d bet.

But is low carb dieting merely low carb dieting?

While the mindset of dramatically decreasing your carb grams is a common thread between low carb diets, these diets vary in methods and benefits.

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If it’s weight loss you’re looking for, then the Atkins diet should be your first choice, due to its high protein ratios. However, it’s best to follow the original Atkins diet, rather than the new version that recently came out with Sharone Osbourne as spokesperson. The reason for this is that the new version allows you to eat frozen atkin meals and packaged Atkins snacks. Sure, the original version is slightly stricter, but it will lead to more fat lose due to its lack of processed foods.

For those of you who wish to follow a low carb lifestyle for mental health, then the ketogenic (Keto) diet is the best option for you. Unlike Atkins, the keto diet is not a high protein diet, but a high-fat diet. The rule of thumb with the keto diet is to eat, in terms of calories, 80% fat, 15% protein, and 5% carbs. By doing this, your body will do into nutritional ketosis, as well as heal your mental state. Those who follow the keto diet, usually, have a decrease in depression and anxiety (disorders that go together like peanut butter and jelly for most people). However, though butter and red meat are allowed on this diet, be sure to add mono fats, such as macadamia nuts, coconut oil, and salmon.

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Finding the right diet for you is all about trial and error. What may give your sister great results, may give you the opposite. So, as much as low carb diets are said to be beneficial to our mind and bodies, be sure to listen to your body and follow its nature. Whether it’s low carbing, veganism, or ‘i’ll just eat whatever’, never follow a diet purely because it’s trending.

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