Nutrition & Dieting/Low fat or low carb

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Question
Laura Ray
Has this debate been settled yet and what do the REAL experts say? I have lost a little weight going low carb but eating nothing but fat and meat grosses me out and gives me gas. I have friends that have had great success.
I have other friends that exist on carbs and fruits and veggies only and are also skinny.
I switched to very low fat almost vegetarian(no red meat a bit of fish and chicken) a few weeks ago, and although the scales have yet to move, I feel a LOT better and my clothes are a bit looser. I have No idea why the scales dont reflect this.
Thanks for your thoughts!

Answer
The experts have decided on this for many years now. Here are the answers from several different studies:

1. Protein needs are first and foremost only needed in certain amounts. Anything over these amounts creates ammonia and urea, which can create ill health effects for the liver and kidneys. This in turn can create full system problems over time. The human protein needs are easy to assess as scientists feed individuals with differing amounts of protein and then test for urea and ammonia afterwards. What they have found is that the body needs only .4 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This equates to about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight and dates back over 10 years. Over the years this answer has been misquoted to 1 gram per pound of body weight. Professional athletes (NFL football players, for example) need a bit more at approximately .6-.7 grams. Keep in mind that amount of protein grams per pound comes first, then percentage of protein calories to total calories.
2. High protein diets do not seem to create any major trauma to the body of a healthy individual when done for 6 months or less. The key here is healthy individuals. In addition, obese individuals (not so healthy) also might benefit with this type of diet, but still only for 6 months or less.
3. Harvard School of Public Health has stated that a high protein diet consisting of vegetarian sources for 6 months or less is more heart healthy because of the low saturated fat as well as the high fiber content.
4. Scales do not always reflect the truth. There is muscle weight, water weight, and lean muscle gains etc. that effect weight and size. If you, or anyone for that matter, wants a true picture of what is going on, you would benefit from skin caliper body composition testing. Make sure that you get a reputable person who has been doing it more than one year.

Energy Nutrients for a healthy diet:
45% to 65% Carbohydrates
10% to 35% Protein
20% to 35% Fat

Remember carbohydrates are important for glucose. The body needs it primarily for the brain and nervous system. Even if you have lower calories than you expend in activity, if the body does not have enough glucose from the diet to feed the brain, nervous system, and get energy it will break down muscle tissue to change it to glucose. It can use fat to a degree, however only a small amount of fat can be converted to glucose. The body is efficient at using fat for energy. However, using it for glucose is a completely different physiological story.


Hope this helps! Keep eating healthy.

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Laura Ray, BS Nutrition, Certified Wellness Coach

Expertise

Please only individuals over the age of 18 years. I have no expertise in adolescent nutrition. Also, this is not a forum in which I am able to create an individual or general diet plan. I will answer general questions. I can answer directly to questions regarding the use of nutrition and exercise to weight loss in women particularly as it relates to the following: yo-yo dieting, lifestyle change, hormonal changes, menopause, perimenopause, metabolic disorders, age related fat accumulation, HCG dieting, Dr. Simeon, nutritional changes geared toward health, coaching as it relates to weight loss, finding affordable nutrition plans, why diets do not work, and complete wellness programs.

Experience

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, am certified in Wellness Coaching by Wellcoaches, and live what I teach.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science Nutrition, Certified in Wellness Coaching

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