Compare and Contrast Low Carbohydrate Diets and Low Fat Diets

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Compare and Contrast Low Carbohydrate Diets and Low Fat Diets

The two most popular methods to lose weight are the low carbohydrate
diets and the low fat diets. Both are in complete contrast when it comes
to each diet’s food choices, the low carbohydrate diet which completely
breaks the food pyramid limits a person to eating foods that are high in
carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta and rice, while on the other hand,
the low fat diet which follow the food pyramid limits a person to eat
foods that are high in fat like meat, milk, and bean groups. Although
each diet may sound very different from one another, they also share
similarities. Both the low carbohydrate diet and the low fat diet claim
that each is a good tool for weight loss. Even though their process in
achieving weight loss and good health are in complete contrast;
researchers found that each of the diets accomplish the same results.

        Starting with each diet’s idea, low fat diets state that fat is
bad for the body they also address that not all fats are dangerous. Low
fat dieters actually admit that some fats are needed to stay healthy. The
low fat diet does not restrict a person from foods that contain fat. In
an online article Choose a Diet low in Fat, Saturated Fat and
Cholesterol, it was stated that “Fats supply energy and essential fatty
acids and promote absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K”.
In contrast with the “good fat”, there is also a negative, which is
the “bad fat”. Saturated fat, which is considered the “bad fat”, has been
linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. It is mostly found in milk
and other milk products. Therefore, the low fat diet encourages its
participants to reduce saturated fat for it is the main cause of high
cholesterol level.

On the other hand, even though low carbohydrate diets do not state that
carbohydrates are bad; they do state that it causes weight gain; this
idea gives most Americans that it is bad because it causes a person to
gain weight. When a person eats foods that are high in carbohydrates the
body produces more insulin, which causes the body to quickly change food
into body fat. This is why the low carbohydrate diets like the Atkins
diet restricts a person to eat very small amount of food that contains

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carbohydrates to avoid the body to make excess body fat that causes
weight gain. This concludes that contrasting the low fat diets, low
carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet are only concerned in the idea of
loosing weight and not on better health.

Another issue that seems to often come up when talking about the
differences that both the low fat and low carbohydrate diets have is how
much time will each diet take to accomplish results. Since the low fat
diet has been around for a long time, countless tests have been studied
and it has been proven good for a steady weight loss. On the other hand,
according to many organizations such as BUPA, the low carbohydrate diet
being fairly new hasn’t been proven based on long studies that it is good
for long-term weight loss, “the long-term effects of the diet are still a
mystery”. Former participants of the low carbohydrate diets have stated
that they experienced fast weight loss but found it hard to sustain their
healthy weight. A research has been done at the University of
Pennsylvania in the month of July last year which 64 people have been
randomly assigned to either the low fat diet or the low carbohydrate diet
(Atkins). The low carbohydrate group seemed to have lost the most weight
in the first six months but ended up with no difference with the low fat
diet after one year (Barrett, sec.2 par. 8). This concludes that even
though dieters on the low carbohydrate diet experience faster weight loss
at the beginning of their diet compared to the dieters in the low fat
diet, the ending result end up the same in both diets after a year. There
is not much difference between the two diets when it comes to
accomplishing results.

In addition, the most obvious difference low carbohydrate diets have with
low fat diets is the complete opposite of food that is required to eat to
accomplish good health and weight loss. The low fat diet follows the food
pyramid by suggesting to eat high nutrient foods such as bread and
grains, foods that happens to be high in carbohydrates and less of foods
that are high on fats and oil like desserts and snack foods. In contrast,
low carbohydrate diets allows a dieter to eat foods that are usually
thought of as bad, such as snacks and sweets, without any limits and less
of foods that contain carbohydrates, for carbohydrates are believed to
cause weight gain. It completely breaks the rule of the food pyramid, by
lessening carbohydrate intake and increasing meat and fat intake. So, the
low carbohydrate diet is in complete opposite in following the food
pyramid as suppose to the low fat diet by increasing the consumption of
high fat foods and limiting the intake of carbohydrates in the body.
The low carbohydrate diet and the low fat diet are only a few of many
diets that are offered to the public. Each diet may seem like the total
opposite just as in the low fat diet and the low carbohydrate diet.
Differences like the selection of food choices and presentation of the
ideas are some examples, but in the end the same results are being
accomplished.

WORK CITED

Barret, Stephen. Quakwatch . “Low Carbohydrate Diets” 4 Jan. 1997.
Quackwatch. 17 Nov. 2004 <
http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/lcd.html

Newcomb, Leslie. “Is the Atkins Diet Safe?.” 30 May 2003. Online Posting.
BUPA Organization. 17 Dec. 2004
http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/html/health_news/300503diet.html

Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Dec. 1995.
U. S. Department Health and Human Services. Dec. 1995
http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dga/dga95/cover.html >.



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