The truth about diets, part one: the low-carb diet

It’s diet season everyday for around 40% of men in the UK, so HFM are looking at the most common diets and breaking them down into pros and cons. This week, we’ve spoken to the experts about the common myths that have been misleading men since the first slice of bread. 

What is it?

Based on foods that contain a low amount of carbohydrate, this diet focuses on eating foods that are high in protein and fat. This means consuming mainly meat, fish, eggs, healthy fats and vegetables.

Myth one

Carbs are unhealthy After the decades of anti-fat messages, carbs are now seen as the villain but James Collier, nutrition consultant and creator of Huel.com, disagrees. ‘The Atkins diet trend has left many people thinking carbs are bad, which of course they’re not. Carbs are a great source of fibre and energy and deliver many micronutrients.’

Myth two

You can’t get enough fat on low-carbohydrate diets Low-carb dieters seem to be able to eat endless high-calorie foods like cheese and fatty meat, so is dodging the sugar and starch the magic fat-loss bullet? ‘Gaining weight is down to eating too many calories – whether from fats, protein or carbs. If you eat too much; you’ll get fat,’ says Collier.

Myth three

High-protein diets are bad for the kidneys Low-carb diets are usually high protein diets, but doctors often warn of the possibility of serious health consequences. Collier, who works with professional bodybuilders, weighs in: ‘The theory comes from the fact that people with kidney disease do need to restrict protein, but healthy kidneys will cope fine with high-protein diets.’

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