Is low-carb diet a mere fad, or is it as good as it is touted out to be?
It is true it helps you lose your weight and improve your overall health? Is it sustainable in the long run?
The predominant idea behind a low-carb diet is to limit your intake of carbohydrates, which are the main sources of energy in your body, and replace them with healthy fats and proteins.
In this blog post, we will explore the science behind low-carb diets, its benefits and drawbacks, and provide you with tips on how to successfully start and stick to a low-carb diet.
What is a Low-Carb Diet?
A low-carb diet is a dietary approach that focuses on reducing the intake of carbohydrates in order to achieve weight loss and other health benefits.
Low-carb diets typically limit carbohydrate intake to less than 50g per day to achieve ketosis.
Reducing carbohydrate intake can lead to lower insulin levels, which in turn can help your body burn more fat for energy.
This approach can help reduce your hunger, boost your metabolism and improve your blood sugar control. It is also known to be effective at promoting weight loss.
Low-carb diets are often high in proteins and healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds and fish. Vegetables and low-sugar fruits are also allowed on a low-carbohydrate diet.
There are several types of low-carb diets, including the ketogenic diet, the paleo diet and the Atkins diet, each with its own dos and don’ts.
What are Types of Low-Carb Diet?
There are many low-carb diets, each with its own dos and don’ts.
Here are some of the most popular ones for you:
Ketogenic Diet: Focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake to the point in which your body enters a state of ketosis, where it begins to burn fat for energy instead of glucose. It’s a very low-carb, high-fat diet.
Atkins Diet: Emphasis on eating high-protein, high-fat foods while limiting your carbohydrate intake.
Paleo Diet: Focuses on eating foods that were available to our ancestors, such as lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
South Beach Diet: Emphasis on eating lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains while limiting processed carbohydrates. But it may not be called a low-carb diet one hundred percent.
Low Glycemic Diet: Focuses on eating foods that have a low glycemic index, which means they are digested slowly and provide a sustained energy source.
The reason why there are so many low-carb diets is that they have been proven effective for weight loss for some people. This generalisation can only be taken at face value.
It’s your doctor or nutritionist who can give you a right approach to your weight loss efforts, and this decision depends on many factors such as your blood parameters and gene type.
It’s only those informed health choices that can help your weight loss efforts to be sustained, and also improve your overall health markers.
How Does a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Work?
It basically works by limiting your intake of carbohydrates, which are the main sources of energy in your body.
When carbohydrates are restricted, your body enters into a state of ketosis, in which it starts burning fat for energy instead of glucose.
As a consequence, your body begins to use your stored fat as energy, leading to your weight loss.
When done correctly, a low-carb diet can help reduce your appetite, boost your metabolism and increase your fat burning.
It can also help lower your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
What are The Benefits of Low-Carbohydrate Diets?
One of the main benefits of a low-carb diet is your weight loss. By limiting the intake of carbohydrates, your body burns stored fat for energy, leading to your weight loss.
A low-carb diet can also improve your overall health by reducing the risk of your heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Also, it can improve your insulin sensitivity, energy levels and mental clarity.
According to a research paper, a Low-carb diet has been proven to effectively reduce body weight and help in the treatment of infertility in obese PCOS patients.
We have put in a short list for your easy understanding, which are as follows:
Dietary benefits of low-carbs may differ from person to person, and it’s always best to consult with your doctor before beginning.
Drawbacks of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet
Some people may experience side effects such as headaches, fatigue and mood swings due to a sudden drop in carbohydrate consumption. But that’s not all.
A recent survey found that those who consumed the least amount of carbohydrates were 32% more likely to die prematurely from any cause compared to those who ate the most carbs.
Also, low-carb consumers were 51% more likely to die from coronary heart disease, 50% more likely to die from cerebrovascular disease and 35% more likely to die of cancer. These associations were strongest among older, non-obese individuals.
According to Professor Maciej Banach, Medical University of Lodz in Poland, low-carb diets should be avoided owing to the reduced intake of fiber & fruits and increased intake of animal protein, cholesterol and saturated fat. Differences in minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals may also play a role here.
While these diets might be useful for short-term weight loss, blood pressure reduction and improved blood glucose control, the long-term results are linked with an increased risk of death from any cause, as well as deaths due to medical conditions mentioned above.
It becomes clear from all these that only your doctor can determine whether low-carbohydrate diets may suit or not.
How to Stick to a Low-Carb Diet
It can’t be too difficult if you plan properly and stick to it no matter what. Let’s see how you can succeed in your efforts.
List of Low-Carb Foods
if you’re new to low-carb eating, it can be hard to know where to start.
Here is a list of some low-carb foods that you can incorporate into your meals:
Please note that the serving sizes of these foods should be limited to maintain a low-carb diet. It’s also important to choose high-quality, whole food sources as much as possible.
A low-carb diet can be a effective way to lose your weight and your improve overall health, but it’s important to approach it with caution and make sure it’s right for you.
The tips and guidelines outlined in this blog may help you get started, but not without first consulting your doctor or registered nutritionist.
Once you have the go-ahead from your doctor or nutritionist, you can successfully start your low-carb diet.
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