Comparing low calorie diets, low fat diets, and low carbohydrate diets involves looking at how they work, what problems they have, and what foods are allowed, restricted, or prohibited on each diet. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind the recommended daily allowances of each nutritional component of a diet at non-weight loss conditions. The major nutritional components of a diet are grouped into the major categories fat, carbohydrates and sugars, and proteins. There are also vitamins and minerals that are not a group of their own but are associated with each category – there are different vitamins in each category. The body uses each of these components for a different purpose and needs each in a different amount. One of these needs is energy – energy to keep the heart beating, the brain working and all the various mundane aspects of day-to-day living. Any excess energy is stored as body fat. If it ever needs energy, the body can dip into these reserves – burn fat. Schematically, a healthy, non-weight loss conditions diet can be represented by a pie chart with each nutritional component as one
proportionally sized piece of the pie. Each different diet – low calorie, low fat, and low carbohydrate – changes the pie in a different way.
On a low calorie diet, the entire pie is shrunk. The proportions of fat, carbohydrates and sugars,
and protein are kept the same but fewer calories are consumed. This way, the body does not
receive all the energy it needs from the food that it intakes and is thereby forced to dip into its
energy reserves – i.e. body fat. But, in cutting down on calories, the amount of other essential
nutritional components, such as vita...
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...it into cheese. Sweets are completely forbidden. Meat is also allowed, hence
the nickname ‘the meat and cheese diet.’ And, most vegetables are allowed and must be
consumed to remain healthy.
Low calorie, low fat and low carbohydrate diets all aim at reducing the amount of energy
obtained from food so that the body is forced to burn fat for fuel. Each has a different
proscribed menu. Low calorie diets focus on restricting portion size and overall amount of food
eaten while low fat and low carbohydrate diets eliminate fats and carbohydrates respectively.
Because each type of food contains a unique set of vitamins, people who practice each of these
different diets must be mindful of which vitamins their diet is not providing in adequate amounts
and compensate accordingly.
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