People have varying thoughts when it comes to a low carb food regimen. Some people believe that humans are not meant to eat present-day foods which are basically carbohydrates and sugar. This reasoning comes mainly from the fact that carbohydrate rich foods such as grains and starches cause the release of insulin when too much blood sugar is pumped into the body system. This body process causes the storage of body fat and if it goes on unchecked for a period of time, it can lead to health problems such as obesity, heart diseases as well as cancer or diabetes.
Health experts may recommend a low carb food regimen as opposed to a high carb one in the belief that protein rich foods like meat, fish, eggs and others are healthier for people to eat and for them to avoid the same problems that are affecting a lot of people around the world. Some studies were undertaken to prove that a protein-rich diet is more effective and safer in terms of losing weight. However, the findings of one of these studies do not indicate a long term effect since the study was conducted over a very short period of time rendering the results to be inconclusive.
The Naval Hospital in Oakland conducted a related study in 1965. The study involved dieters who were given a daily 1000 calorie intake which was also high in fat and a limited daily 10 gram carbohydrate intake. The dieters participated for 10 days and had positive results. They may have done better than the control group in terms of losing body fat but a 10-day diet period does not guarantee a lifetime result.
The key factor in determining diet for every individual is proportion. There may be disagreements whether a low carb food regimen is better or not but generally most people and health experts agree that sugar intake should be minimized. People must understand that basically all kinds of food eaten are converted into glucose, a simple form of sugar that the body can absorb. Carbohydrate rich foods and sugary foods are the easiest ones to be broken down by the digestive system thereby causing a sudden rush of glucose in the blood stream. This in turn affects the metabolic processes such as the release of too much insulin because of the presence of a high level of glucose circulating in the bloodstream.
However, it doesn’t mean though that people should not eat carbohydrates or sugar all together because too less blood glucose can cause hypoglycemia, a health situation that is characterized by dizziness, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms. If it is left untreated, it can lead to other health problems and at times it can also be fatal. Again, the key to proper diet is proportion. Too much or too little of carbohydrates is not good.
However, the proportion of carbohydrate rich foods in the diet depends on several factors like body built, dietary needs and the nature of the physical activity that one is involved in. Regular people like office workers need less carbohydrate rich foods but manual laborers or workers need more carbohydrate rich foods to give them the energy to do their physical work. The metabolic rate varies from one person to another and this may affect the rate at which food is processed and how the nutrients are absorbed by the body. Hormonal imbalances may affect metabolic processes so proper nutrition and regular exercises are needed to help the body regulate all processes normally.
Athletes need more carbohydrate rich foods and protein rich foods too. The portions given to them is not the same as the portions given to regular people even if they do some form of exercises. Intensive physical activity requires a lot of energy. Athletes burn more energy but at the same time they need to build strong muscles to be able to increase their strength and endurance.
But just like any other individual, athletes have different carbohydrate and protein requirements to meet in order to stay fit and strong for a particular sport. Their trainers and dieticians must work together to determine what each athlete needs based on his body build and his metabolic rate and also the kind of training that each one of them has to undergo.