Foods high in digestible carbohydrates such as bread or pasta, are limited or replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of proteins and fats (e.g. meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds and peanuts) and other foods low in carbohydrates, including most salad vegetables, although other vegetables and fruits – particularly berries – are often allowed. The amount of carbohydrates permitted in a low-carb diet can vary. A recent nationwide study on low-carb dieters by Opinion Dynamics Corporation concluded that 78% of people who try low-carb diets lose weight. The median amount of weight loss on low-carb diets is approximately 16 pounds. Additionally, the study noted most keep the weight off. Many people experience a state of ketosis when starting a low-carb diet. It involves a loss of fat and occurs because, in the absence of sugar, the body will break down fat to use as fuel. Ketosis usually happens 3-4 days into the diet and dieters generally experience varying degrees of tiredness or fatigue. Ketosis can be easily monitored with the use of ketosis sticks, or kits, available at most pharmacies. Advocates of low-carbohydrate diets argue we are closer to the ancestral diet of our ancestors before the invention of agriculture, and therefore genetically adapted to diets low in carbohydrates. The invention of agriculture brought about a rise in carbohydrate levels in human diets. The industrial age saw a particularly steep rise in refined carbohydrate levels in western societies. Along with increased carbohydrate consumption came an interest in dietary science. In 1797, Dr. John Rollo reported on the results of treating two diabetic army officers with a low-carbohydrate diet and medications. A very low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet was the standard treatment for diabetes throughout the 19th century. In 1863, William Banting, an obese English undertaker, published “Letter on Corpulence Addressed to the Public,” a widely read and well received book in which he described a diet for weight control giving up bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer and potatoes. In 1888, James Salisbury introduced the Salisbury steak as part of his high-meat diet, which limited vegetables, fruit, starches, and fats to one-third of the diet. In 1967, Dr. Irwin Stillman published “The Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet.” The “Stillman Diet” is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate and low-fat diet, and is regarded as one of the first low-carb diets to become popular in the U.S. And, of course by now, everyone has heard of the Atkins Diet, which advocates a low-carb diet he used in successfully treating patients during the 1960’s. Sugar is an edible carbohydrate, mainly sucrose, lactose and fructose. Sucrose is a pure carbohydrate and important to the structure of many foods, including biscuits, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, ice cream and sorbets. It is also a common ingredient in many processed ‘junk foods’. When consuming food with high percentages of sucrose, beneficial nutrients can be displaced from the diet, contributing to an increased risk for chronic disease. It has been established that sucrose-containing drinks may be linked to the development of obesity and insulin resistance. As the American Medical Association points out, a diet high in fat and protein may be more filling than one containing a lot of carbohydrates. Nature's Flavors offers low-carbers a low-carb paradise with sweeteners to spritzers to pancake syrups and even ice cream toppings. We have been manufacturing naturally flavored, low-carb and diabetic friendly products for over 25 years, with no artificial ingredients. If you think of something you’d like to include in your low-carb or good-health program, let us know. Chances are we may have it or something very close to it. If not, we can probably make it for you. At Nature's Flavors, we are your partner in wellness!