Due to extensive publicity, low carb diets have become increasingly popular. However there is considerable ambiguity over exactly what is low carbohydrate. Many companies have seen low carb popularity as a brand to be exploited.
Low Carb – A Definition
All food is made up of three primary macro nutrients – carbohydrates (or sugars), proteins, and fats. Low carb implies that the percentage of carbohydrate (by calorie) is low – but lower than what?
High Carb 50-70% (USDA Food Pyramid)
Moderate Carb 40-50%
Low Carb 25-39%
Very Low Carb 0-25%
However it is common to find that any diet less than 50-60% carb ratio is called a low carb diet. Depending on one’s sensitivity to carbohydrates, a moderate carb ratio may be better than a high carb ratio.
By definition, the lower the carb ratio – the higher the fat and protein ratio. Generally speaking a low carb diet will also tend to be a high protein diet.
Find high protein and low carb recipes here.
The Low Carb Industry
The surging popularity of low carb diets caused an entire food industry to appear seemingly overnight. An entire line of foods now bear the catchy name “low carb”. What’s unfortunate is that a lot of these foods are very processed, and are not rich in nutritional quality. Clever marketing has come to the fore, with terms like “Smart Carbs” and “Net Carbs” appearing on many products.
The craze began to decline towards the end of 2004.