What is A Low Carb Diet?
Low carb diet is one of the most controversial issues in the past decades when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
Some health professionals believed that this kind of diet could cause heart diseases or even elevate cholesterol levels. But with the help of research and new technology, these beliefs have changed the perception of most towards low carb diets.
Low carb diets are now becoming increasingly popular as a method for healthy weight loss. Diets such as the South Beach, Zone, Low GI, or Atkins now prove that you can lose weight as well as improve some of the major risk factors in your health condition.
A low carb diet offers many benefits, including a diversified and balanced menu, sustained weight loss, and others.
How Does A Low Carb Diet Affect Your Body?
Avoiding foods that are high in simple carbohydrates and consuming low carbohydrate foods that contain protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, forces the body to use fat as its main energy source.
The aim of low carbohydrate diets is to experience metabolic changes, avoid spikes in blood sugar levels, speed up burning of fat, and eventually lose weight.
Simple (bad) carbohydrates, which come in the form of sucrose, maltose, lactose, galactose, and fructose, are a no-no.
Low carb diets focus on foods such as nuts and seeds, whole wheat grains, non-starchy vegetables and low carb fruits. Dieters also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and flush ketones from the body.
These ‘ketone bodies’ are produced to fuel parts of the body that can not use fat as an energy source – the brain, and red blood cells, in particular.
Too many ketones causes a state of ketosis, which is characterized by acetone breath (nail varnish-like breath), and side effects such as nausea and fatigue.
With a ketogenic diet, the body burns fat and uses it as an energy source, instead of using simple carbohydrates as an energy source and storing fat.
Benefits of A Low Carb Diet
There are many benefits to a low carb ketogenic diet, including lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, and increased physical activity.
Other benefits include lower blood insulin and diabetes prevention, improved mental concentration and dental health. Ketogenic diets have a positive effect on triglycerides, LDL and HDL, fasting blood sugar levels, and abdominal obesity.
The following are some benefits of a low carbohydrate diet:
- It kills your appetite in a good way
So, if you decided to begin a low carb lifestyle, then be prepared to be hungry. Hunger is one of the worst enemies when on a diet and it most often is the reason why people quit in the first place.
However, the great thing about a low carb diet is it will directly lead you into automatic reduction of the appetite, if you stick with it.
Cutting your carbs and eating more proteins as well as fat will result in you eating fewer calories in just few days or weeks.
- It leads to more weight loss
One of the most effective yet simplest ways of losing weight is cutting out your carbohydrate intake, or at least drastically reducing it.
There are recent studies that show people who eat a low carb diet have a better chance of losing weight quicker than people who are following a low-fat diet.
One of the reasons is the elimination of excess water in the body. With a low carb ketogenic diet, the insulin level drops, causing the kidneys to shed excess sodium in the system, which in turn will result in faster weight loss in just one or two weeks.
However, it is more beneficial that you treat a low carbs diet as a low carb lifestyle, and not simply as a diet.
Sticking to the diet and eating only good carb foods is key. Remember, weight loss that lasts is usually based on changes you can live with for a long time, not a temporary diet. If you do that, you can sustain your success for a real long time.
- It helps in the reduction of blood sugar, the insulin level and also prevents type 2 diabetes
Every time we eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into simple sugar, also known as glucose. From that process, glucose enters the bloodstream and causes the elevation of the blood sugar level.
Since high blood sugar levels are toxic, our bodies respond by producing insulin which transports glucose to the cells and converts it into energy or stores it.
There are, however, several people who have a condition called insulin resistance. These people often have type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is caused by the inability of the body to secrete the right amount of insulin which is needed in lowering your blood sugar.
But, the solution to this dilemma is really simple: cut out your carbohydrate intake. Then, eventually both of your blood sugar and insulin levels will also go down.