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A low-carbohydrate diet can help control blood sugar, and is used to help with weight loss, blood pressure control, and blood cholesterol control. There are several popular low-carb diets, such as the Atkins, South Beach, and Zone diets. When total carbs are reduced, people eat larger proportions of protein and fat. Some low-carb diets recommend replacing carbohydrate with healthful sources of protein and fat; others, such as Atkins, do not restrict any type of protein or fat sources. You may find that generally eating fewer carbs may be beneficial, without having to follow a specific program.
Take it for a test drive: Read nutrition labels on packaged foods to help count your carbs for the day. The carbohydrates you choose should be high in fiber such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. More of your calories should come from lean meats, fish, beans, low-fat dairy products, and unsaturated, nonhydrogenated oils. See our Atkins diet and South Beach diet articles for more information.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2017.