Low-carbohydrate diet

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An example of a low-carbohydrate dish, zucchini and ground beef

A Low-carbohydrate diet is a type of diet that focus on lowering the amount of carbohydrates eaten. There are many variations of this diet which all focus on lowering carbohydrates and might have different advantages and disadvantages.

Overview[change | change source]

Macronutrient ratios[change | change source]

The National Lipid Association and Lifestyle Task force define low-carbohydrate diets and those containing less then 25% of calories from carbohydrates, and very low carbohydrate diets being those containing less than 10% carbohydrates.[1] A 2016 review of low-carbohydrate diets referred to diets with 50g of carbohydrate per day (less than 10% of total calories) as "very low" and diets with 40% of calories from carbohydrates as "mild" low-carbohydrate diets.[2]

Foods[change | change source]

A bundle of curly kale leaves.
Like other leafy vegetables, curly kale is a food that is low in carbohydrates.

There is evidence that the quality is also important too, and that high-fiber slow-digesting foods are healthful while ultra-processed and sugary foods are less so.[3] People choosing diet for health conditions should have the diet focused on their own needs.[4]

Most vegetables are low- or moderate-carbohydrate foods. Some vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, maize (corn) and rice are high in starch. Most low-carbohydrate diet plans encourage to eat vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, peppers and most green-leafy vegetables.

History[change | change source]

Brown and wholegrain loaves of bread.
Grain products, such as bread are usually restricted in these diets.

First appearences[change | change source]

In 1797, John Rollo reported on the results of treating two diabetic Army officers with a low-carbohydrate diet and medications. A very low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet was the standard treatment for diabetes throughout the nineteenth century.[5][6]

In 1863, William Banting, a formerly obese English undertaker and coffin maker, published "Letter on Corpulence Addressed to the Public," in which he described a diet for weight control giving up bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer, and potatoes.[7] His booklet was widely read, so much so that some people used the term "Banting" for the activity now called "dieting."[8]

In the early 1900s Frederick Madison Allen made a highly restrictive short term regime which was described by Walter R. Steiner at the 1916 annual convention of the Connecticut State Medical Society as The Starvation Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus.[9]:176–177[10][11] This diet was often administered in a hospital in order to better ensure following and safety.[9]:179

References[change | change source]

  1. Kirkpatrick CF, Bolick JP, Kris-Etherton PM, Sikand G, Aspry KE, Soffer DE, Willard KE, Maki KC (2019). "Review of current evidence and clinical recommendations on the effects of low-carbohydrate and very-low-carbohydrate (including ketogenic) diets for the management of body weight and other cardiometabolic risk factors: A scientific statement from the National Lipid Association Nutrition and Lifestyle Task Force". J Clin Lipidol. 13 (5): 689–711.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jacl.2019.08.003. PMID 31611148.
  2. Hashimoto Y, Fukuda T, Oyabu C, Tanaka M, Asano M, Yamazaki M, Fukui M (2016). "Impact of low-carbohydrate diet on body composition: meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies". Obes Rev (Review). 17 (6): 499–509. doi:10.1111/obr.12405. PMID 27059106. S2CID 46716650.
  3. Reynolds A, Mann J, Cummings J, Winter N, Mete E, Te Morenga L (10 January 2019). "Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses" (PDF). Lancet (Review). 393 (10170): 434–445. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31809-9. PMID 30638909. S2CID 58632705. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  4. Giugliano D, Maiorino MI, Bellastella G, Esposito K (2018). "More sugar? No, thank you! The elusive nature of low carbohydrate diets". Endocrine (Review). 61 (3): 383–387. doi:10.1007/s12020-018-1580-x. PMID 29556949. S2CID 4032074.
  5. Morgan W (1877). Diabetes mellitus: its history, chemistry, anatomy, pathology, physiology, and treatment. Homoeopathic Publishing Company.
  6. Einhorn M (1905). Lectures on dietetics. Saunders. Archived from the original on 29 August 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. Banting W (1869). Letter On Corpulence, Addressed to the Public (4th ed.). London, England: Harrison. Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
  8. Groves B (2002). "William Banting Father of the Low-Carbohydrate Diet". The Weston A. Price Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Steiner WR (1916). "The Starvation Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus". Proceedings of the Connecticut State Medical Society: 176–184. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 124th Annual Convention
  10. Allen FM, Fitz R, Stillman E (1919). Total dietary regulation in the treatment of diabetes. New York: The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  11. Another publication of similar regimen was Hill LW, Eckman RS (1915). The Starvation Treatment of Diabetes with a series of graduated diets as used at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Boston: W.M. Leonard.