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Nutrition is the most popular topic in the world today. Every one wants to be healthy and to avoid ailments associated with poor diets. The question on whether Americans should be on a protein rich and low carbohydrate diet has been posed time and again (Michael 205). A carbohydrate is essential in energizing the body while proteins are known to build the body. However, many people do not do anything further concerning these two elements of a diet. Low carbohydrate diets are restricted to achieve weight control and to treat cases of obesity. Food with a high concentration of digestible carbohydrates such as bread is replaced with foods with high contents of proteins and fats such as meat, nuts, and peanuts (Robert 186). Foods with low levels of carbohydrates are recommended. Nevertheless, the carbohydrates intake should not be too low because this will greatly reduce the levels of energy in the body. Again the fact that high protein diets are seen as a healthy option, it is important to consider the kind of protein that you are taking. This is because some proteins have high levels of saturated fats, which can cause heart ailments, diabetes and certain forms of cancer.
Carbohydrates can be categorized into two groups. The first consists of bad carbohydrates. These are simple and are found in most refined foods such as candy, white bread and cakes. They are referred to as ‘bad’ due to their limited nutritional value. Also, their breakdown rate is quick thereby making a person feel hungry as quickly as they ate (Michael 179). The rising rates of obesity in the USA are attributed to this phenomenon. The other group of carbohydrates is the ‘good carbohydrates’. Such carbohydrates are complex and are found in whole grain food products, vegetables and fruits. They are nutritionally beneficial to the body. They contain fiber, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc, which enhance a healthy body. The rate of digestion of complex carbohydrates is longer, therefore reducing the tendency to indulge in eating excessive carbohydrates that lead to weight gain (Mark and Curley 76). High protein diets contain a lot of fats. Researchers have evidence that nearly all carnivorous diets have more fat than protein. The ratio here is eighty percent of the total calories is from fats and the remaining twenty percent is from proteins.
The main difference between the old food pyramid and the new one is that the new one stresses the importance exercising regularly. The new one has also increased the recommended servings of vegetables and fruits from five servings to nine. By visiting my pyramid was the discovery that there is a need to eat complex carbohydrates compared to simple carbohydrates that have low nutritional value (Mark and Curley 69). There is also a need to change the rate of physical exercise. The Atkins diet plan chosen is a low carbohydrate diet created by Dr. Robert Atkins. This diet plan involves a restricting the amount of refined carbohydrates in the body. It encourages the burning of stored body fat as opposed to the metabolism where the body burns glucose.
Food such as sugar, fructose corn syrup and even flour should be avoided as they are the main cause of obesity in America today. An example of a typical day meal plan is to take three scrambled eggs with cream, bacon and tea or coffee for breakfast (Michael 209). For lunch chicken salad, Romano cheese, dark salad greens, ranch dressing and one boiled egg is a healthy meal. Dinner will include fried fish, salad greens, a medium tomato, a thin sliced red onion and broccoli rabe with butter. Although the diet attempts to give healthy diet tips, it sharply contrasts with the updated 2005 Dietary Guidelines which emphasizes the need for physical exercise in addition to healthy eating. Critics say that the low carbohydrate high protein diet puts individuals at risk of developing heart problems (Mark and Curley 80).Excessive intake of carbohydrates increases risks for type II diabetes. To use glucose as fuel the body needs to produce insulin. Therefore, the higher the amount of glucose the body makes, the higher the insulin it is supposed to produce (Robert 241). Here, many people become overwhelmed by the need to supply insulin. Eventually, they are unable to regulate the production of insulin which leads type II diabetes (Mark and Curley 102). However, by sticking to a personalized diet plan as exemplified by the food pyramid it is possible to have a decline in type 2 diabetes, because complex carbohydrates and physical exercise will keep obesity at bay which is the main cause of diabetes.