B2 Reading Test
Read the following text. For questions 1-7 choose the option (a, b or c) which best completes them according to the text.
The principles of the New High Protein Diet
This diet is the most effective way of losing body fat. Remember, if we go on a starvation diet, we lose weight but not much fat. In starvation mode, we use up our energy stores of carbohydrate first (in the form of a substance called glycogen). However, the body can store only a little glycogen, and this is used up within two days. Then we start breaking down fat and protein. But we can’t afford to lose body proteins: our muscle mass decreases, we become noticeably weaker, and our immunity is compromised because the lack of protective immunoglobulin proteins means we are subject to an increased risk of infection. Not good!
Sure, we look slimmer, and we certainly weigh less, but we are weaker and becoming unhealthy. There is no point in dieting if it’s going to make us ill. And, of course, because we need our muscles, when we even slightly stray from the diet, our bodies immediately rebuild muscle and we regain all of the ‘lost’ weight very quickly. Yet another diet fails – because it was never going to work in the first place. And we have succeeded in making ourselves considerably less healthy in the process. Not only have we gone through a period of reduced immunity and a lack of proteins, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other essential nutrients, there is evidence that so-called ‘yo-yo’ dieting of this nature is detrimental to health in the longer term.
Quite simply, we are going to virtually eliminate all refined carbohydrates and sugars (which are also carbohydrates), leaving us with a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. Of course, you may have heard of high-protein diets before, and they all failed because the carbohydrates were not restricted. Remember, unless you switch off the mechanism to make fat, and switch on the mechanism to burn fat, it is very difficult to lose body fat. On this diet, you will be cutting out virtually all refined carbohydrates so that body fat is burned preferentially, to provide energy. Sugar, starch, white flour, cakes, bread, pasta and rice are the usual culprits. These foods have very little nutritional value and, what’s more, can cause medical and fat problems. Of course, there are forms of these carbohydrates – such as wholemeal rice, wholemeal bread and wholemeal pastas – that do have nutritional benefits and which you can reintroduce later, but in the initial stage of the diet, you have to reduce all carbohydrates, to switch on the fat-burning mechanism.
You should definitely cut out all pasta, rice, cakes and biscuits, and stick to a maximum of one slice of bread per day. Your body will rapidly adjust to a healthy, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, and will burn body fat. The bottom line is that you don’t need refined carbohydrates and processed sugars. These foods provide energy and no other form of essential nutrition – and when you eat more than the energy you can use immediately the rest is stored as fat. One point to be aware of is that refined carbohydrates can appear in many unexpected sources. You probably know that bread, cakes, pastries, biscuits, pies, pizzas, potato crisps and fried potato chips all contain refined carbohydrates, but pasta, rice, most breakfast cereals, most tinned foods, many pre-packaged foods, tinned vegetables, tinned soups, and prepared sauces do as well… In fact the list goes on and on. Virtually all ‘fast foods’ contain very high proportion of refined carbohydrates – as well as hydrogenated fats – and if your diet is high in refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats, you will definitely put on weight. If you’re worried that by cutting out refined carbohydrates you’ll have virtually no foods left to choose from, fear not. In fact, high-protein and nutritious foods such as meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and eggs are all open to you, along with vegetables, cheese, spices and herbs, from which you can easily produce delicious, healthy and quick meals. You’ll be relieved to hear that you don’t have to live on a diet of lettuce and tomato. On the contrary, you will be eating virtually limitless; quantities of very tasty food complemented by delicious sauces and dressings: in other words, real food!
What about fats in your diet? I’ve advised you to cut out refined carbohydrates and eat a high-protein diet, but what about the amount of fat you consume? This is going to seem a strange thing to say, and it’s against all of the dietary advice you’ve been given in the past, but if you follow the principles of this diet carefully, you don’t need worry about how much fat you’re consuming. No, I have not gone mad, and I’m certainly not advocating a high-fat diet, but most of the ‘bad’ fats are actually integrated into the sugary, starchy foods you have already excluded, and you will naturally avoid them when you stop eating these foods. So by excluding the refined carbohydrates, you have excluded the ‘bad’ fats from your diet at a single stroke.
Adapted from © The New High Protein Diet by Dr Charles Clark and Maureen Clark – Vermilion
From Pruebas de certificación. Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas Comunidad de Madrid
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