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Carbohydrate Addicts Diet

Carbohydrate Addicts Diet Diet
The Carbohydrate Addicts diet was written in 1993 by authors Rachel Heller MD, and Richard Heller MD. The success of the book has led to a number of follow-up books, many of which have been on bestseller lists.
The premise behind the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet (CAD) is that most overweight people are addicted to carbohydrates. The Hellers' claim that most people fail to metabolize carbohydrates correctly, causing an imbalance of insulin levels. The elevated insulin levels cause a craving for food throughout the day.

Addiction to Carbohydrates?
Like the basis of many modern diet plans and books, the foundation, or basis, is faulty. Causes of obesity are many, and can be complex. Although the simplest explanation will probably suffice - growing portion size, sedentary occupations, and processed foods.

The Hellers' claim that most overweight adults see themselves as carbohydrate addicts, although like many statistics, this needs further scrutiny.

Carbohydrate Addicts Eating Plan
The carbohydrate addict diet is unusual, but at it's foundation is a reduction of carbohydrate intake. The rules are strict, with the diet providing a long list of foods, that are on the "allowed" list. Anything not in this list must be avoided.

Just to confuse the issue, the day is split into 2 main meals - 2 meals are made up of a protein source (fish, poultry, lean red meat) and fibrous vegetables. The 3rd meal is called the "reward" meal - this can be anything you want, but you should aim for a balance of 1/3 carbohydrate, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 fibrous (non-starchy vegetables). This reward meal must be consumed inside 1 hour.

The diet begins with a restricted 2 week phase, but then goes into a variety of eating plans - depending on whether you are maintaining or losing more weight.

Sensible or Not?
The Carb Addicts diet has a curious nutritional balance, based on a questionable theory. To give the Hellers' credit, the book does start with a set of questions to determine whether you are a "Carbohydrate Addict". One thing is for sure, if you are not, then do not follow this eating plan.

The strict rules do little to increase our understanding of nutrition and our own bodies. The idea of a reward meal seems implies that you are either good or naughty - once again, such diets are difficult to sustain over the long term.

Many people have found success with this plan, but could be more to do with a reduction in calories over two main meals, rather than any magic formula.

It is worth noting that there are some good points to be gleaned. Generally, we do eat too much processed carbohydrate (white flours, bakery foods, white rice and pasta, etc). This must surely be a contributor to obesity problems - but does not mean that all carbs are the enemy.



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