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CrossFit champions cheer Paleo diet power as they bliss out on bacon

Bliss out on bacon.
Bliss out on bacon.
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The Reebok CrossFit Games are designed to reveal the fittest men and women in the world. In addition to unveiling the champions, the games this year also showcased the role that the Paleo low carb diet plays in creating a champion. And when it comes to the one food linked with CrossFit, bacon is the winner, reported Refinery on August 15.

Reebok even catered to that ubiquitous food favorite with a special bacon truck that provided the Bacon of the Day (BOD) creations. And for proof that it fuels fitness, CrossFit champion Rich Froning said he eats one to two pounds of bacon weekly. He's won four times.

The Fittest Female on Earth winner Camille Leblanc-Bazinet carefully follows the low carb Paleo diet by focusing on protein power with non-starchy vegetables. In addition, she designs her meals to ensure that they have the ideal ratio of fat, carbs and protein.

Just how much protein does it take to create a high protein diet breakfast? Four whole eggs plus a protein shake, said Camille. And yes, she also sometimes includes bacon.

Traditionally, athletes were advised to eat generous amounts of carbohydrates prior to an event such as the CrossFit competition or a marathon. But because so many athletes now have shifted to high fat low carb diets and Paleo plans, sports scientist Tim Noakes believes that carb-loading isn't the right choice for everyone. In an August 15 podcast, he specified how many carbohydrates athletes should consume on different diets.

If you are used to eating carbohydrates, Noakes recommends eating 500 grams of carbs a day for the three days prior to the event. In contrast, if you have been following a high fat low carb diet, follow your normal diet until the last day. At that point, increase to 200 grams of carbohydrates.

"What we know now is that your carbohydrate metabolism is completely different if you’re fat adapted or carbohydrate adapted," said Noakes. "If you’re fat adapted and you take carbohydrates, it is almost as if the body doesn't see the carbohydrate as a fuel. It stores it immediately in your muscles."

Consequently, for those on low carb high fat diets who are fat-adapted, eating carbohydrates does not impact the metabolism. Those carbohydrates are stored. "When you then need it during the race it is there ready for you," he added.

And if you do load up on carbohydrates, choose carefully. Quality counts more than quantity, especially if you're trying to lose weight, reported Harper's Bazaar.

The number one rule: Don't be duped by gluten-free labels. "A processed carb is a processed carb whether it's gluten-free or not," said Heidi Klum's trainer, David Kirsch.

Gluten-free products often replace ingredients such as wheat with sugar or white rice flour. "A gluten-free diet can make you gain weight," warns Arthur Agatston, a Miami cardiologist and author of The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution.

Think that those popular fruit juice blends are a good choice? Not necessarily so. "Prepackaged supermarket varieties are often filled with sugar, sodium, synthetic ingredients, and preservatives like high fructose corn syrup," cautions Stephanie Middleberg, a New York dietitian.

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