A low carb diet is essentially, what it says – it is a diet that greatly reduces intake of carbohydrates. This is not as easy as it sounds.
Carbohydrates are found in foods such as sugary snacks, bread, pasta, starches, fruit, and many processed foods. Typically, the most strict low carb diets limit intake to 20 grams of net carbs per day, at the very least less than 50 grams and the main source of these carbs should be non-starchy vegetables.
Although it may seem drastic, there is plenty of scientific research that shows low carb eating to be beneficial to your health, from weight loss, medical reasons, or a wish to simply eat better. Whatever your reason for starting the low carb lifestyle, there are several key health benefits that can be attributed to this kind of diet.
With many diets, people often end up hungry and then snacking and fail to lose weight. They try to restrict their food intake too much and end up ‘falling off the wagon’. This is a very real issue for many people and the ultimate reason why they do not lose the weight they are trying so hard to shift.
In contrast, with the low carb lifestyle you do not get the hunger cravings or need to eat like you do with other diets. Research has shown that people who reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat and replace these with additional protein and healthy fats will eat less and reduce their overall calorie consumption.
If you are trying to lose weight then this can be an effective method, as you actually want to eat less. When you are eating a low carb lifestyle, you lose weight in different ways.
For example, a lot of the body is made up of excess water and the low carb diet can help to get rid of some of this.
A low carb lifestyle leads to lower levels of insulin, which causes the kidneys to work more efficiently and by eliminating insulin triggers, most people lose weight and often very quickly.
Lower Levels Of Visceral Fat
When we do lose weight from following this diet there is an important point to consider. Not all weight is the same, and visceral fat is the bad kind that sits around our organs and can cause serious health problems.
Research has shown that a low carb diet can help to reduce levels of visceral fat specifically rather than the other type of fat, the subcutaneous type.
Stabilize Blood Sugars – Prevent And Manage Type 2 Diabetes
When a low carb diet is followed long term, there is a clear reduction in the chance of developing diabetes and other health issues.
Eating less carbs reduces the need for the body to produce insulin; insulin is used to break down all the sugars in carbohydrates and too much of this can lead to diabetes in later life.
By simply reducing the amount of carbohydrates (insulin trigger foods) that you are eating, you are reducing the production of insulin the in the body and reducing the body’s resistance to it.
A low carb diet prevents erratic blood sugar spikes that may lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Similarly, research has shown that diabetes, both type 1 and type 2 can be better controlled with a low carbohydrate diet. Of course, anyone who is considering changes to their diet should consult their doctor. This is particularly the case if you are taking medication for your diabetes, as this may need to be adjusted too.
High Blood Pressure
Like diabetes, high blood pressure has been connected to many serious health disorders such as heart attacks and strokes. Ultimately, we should all aim to keep our blood pressure within the healthy range, but this can be hard with our lifestyles.
Research is therefore focused on finding ways everyone can realistically lower their blood pressure. The low carb diet can help to keep blood pressure where it should be and prevent it from getting too high.
The overall message is that a low carb diet can be beneficial in many ways and can help with certain health issues.
However, there is always a risk when making drastic changes to your diet such as significantly reducing the amount of carbohydrates you consume. It is therefore best to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet; this is particularly the case if you have been diagnosed with any current health issue.