The Hazards of High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diets Essay

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The Hazards of High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diets

A young, healthy teenage girl fell to her death after following a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet for no more than two weeks. The girl, having no identified sicknesses or medical conditions, exhibited "electrolyte imbalances" along with minimal levels of potassium and calcium, which appeared to be a result of the diet according to doctors at the University of Missouri Health Science Center. These irregularities upset the "normal electrical function of her heart" causing it to stop and her to collapse ("US teen . . ."). Based on this alone, it is evident that a high protein, low carbohydrate diet is not a safe and healthy long-term weight loss program.

High Protein diets are
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High protein or ketogenic diets, those like the well-known Atkins, are based solely on large consumptions of proteins and fats while they restrict carbohydrates to a nearly invisible amount. Although dieters are eating plenty of meat and getting their protein, possibly even an overload, they are receiving very little, if any, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutrient rich foods, which are essential to a well balanced diet ("High Protein Diets"). A study conducted on Atkins meals reveals that, along with having too much protein and too little carbohydrates, they are unusually high in saturated fat and cholesterol while minimal in fiber. The meals also fail to meet the "recommended daily values for several vitamins and minerals" ("How does . . .?"). Therefore, with this type of diet, it is vital to one's health that vitamins and minerals are consumed by means of supplements. There are some nutrients, though, that cannot be acquired any other way than directly from the source ("The Dangers . . ."). According to Ellen Coleman's article, "Even Dr. Atkins . . . admits that his diet doesn't supply enough vitamin [sic] and minerals and recommends that people take supplements."

Due to the imbalance of protein and carbohydrates, many serious side effects are linked to the weight loss plan. Ketosis, "a fasting state," is very common among high protein dieters ("The Dangers . . ."). The body lacks its
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