The term low carb diet is a broad term for popular diets (Such as Atkins, South Beach The CHO Addict’s Diet, Protein
Power Diet, Sugar Busters Diet) that restrict carbohydrate intake (pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, cereals and sugary
foods and drinks). They typically contain less that 100g carbohydrate per day. These foods in the diet are replaced
with foods containing high percentage of proteins and fats (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese and nuts).
All food contains calories (energy) and a simple method of reducing body fat and losing weight is to reduce the
calorie intake to less than the body requires to maintain its’ weight. Your body fat reserves are then used for
producing energy (instead of food) resulting in weight loss. Calorie counting is a common dietary method to help
an individual achieve successful weight loss. However, this method requires the individual to accurately measure
out the food and monitor their calorie intake.
Diets that are high in fat have been associated with obesity which is currently reaching epidemic proportions.
Eating less fat especially saturated fat can help reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes,
heart disease and specific cancers. Eating less fat can also help reduce cholesterol levels and help to reduce
the risk of coronary heart disease.
Diet plays an important role in reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and keeping your heart healthy. You
should aim to improve your diet by eating more fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, foods containing phytochemicals
(such as flavonoids) foods rich in folate and B vitamins. Choosing a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, wholegrains
and antioxidant rich foods and drinks can reduce heart disease by 20%.
A healthy diet should consist of starchy carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, cereals, grains and pulses. These
are energy containing foods that have not been processed, so contain more nutrients. These carbohydrates tend
to have a lower Glycaemic Index (GI) and can keep you feeling fuller for longer and help to regulate blood sugar
levels. Anyone looking to improve long-term blood sugar control such as type 2 diabetic patients may benefit from
choosing a low GI diet. These diets can also provide sustained energy for those who are very active and help
satiety in those trying to lose or maintain weight.
Coeliac disease is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract caused by intolerance of the protein
gluten found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. A gluten-free diet allows fresh meats, fish, fruit, vegetables,
beans and pulses. Only those with diagnosed Coeliac Disease, or a related medical condition should follow a
It is a myth that by eating large quantities of protein or protein shakes you will automatically get bigger
and stronger. Guidelines indicate that more protein is required to gain muscle (1.2 to 2 g protein per
kilogram of body weight, or 0.54 to 0.91g per pound of body weight). However, the most crucial dietary
factor that plays a role in building lean muscle is making sure that you are eating plenty of calories.
Getting the most out of your fitness training session is dependent on a good supply of carbohydrate energy
- and high calorie diets are critical to sports success. If carbohydrate stores are compromised (through
a poor diet) training intensity and performance will be impaired.
A vegetarian diet is thought to be very healthy and many studies in the past decade have shown vegetarians to
have fewer heart attacks, lower rates of cancer, premature mortality, less obesity and lower blood pressure
when compared to non-vegetarians. It is not known whether this is directly as a result of not eating meat,
or due to the fact vegetarians tend to lead ‘more health conscious lifestyles’ with less smoking, less
alcoholism and more activity.
Organic foods generally have much lower residues of chemicals and antibiotics that could be potentially
dangerous. Only a handful of chemicals (as opposed to 300 used in standard farming) are allowed in organic
farming. Studies have frequently shown that the levels of nutrients in our foods have declined by up to 75%.