Low-carb diets are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people seek to improve their health and lose weight without counting calories. According to many experts, a low-carb diet has surprising benefits over other methods of losing weight, but there are also health concerns.
To help you decide, we look at carbohydrates and the pros and cons of a low-carb diet.
Benefits of the Low Carbohydrate Diet
1: Low-carb diets reduce appetite
Once you get used to eating foods without the convenience of carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes and pasta, you will find that your appetite will decrease. Numerous studies show that a diet consisting of proteins and fats also reduces calorie intake. So you’ll probably find yourself losing weight without really thinking about it.
However, it is not easy at first, and many people struggle with cravings and fatigue. After all, carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. So it can feel like you’re running on empty until you get used to it.
Tip: Don’t skip all carbs on the first day. Review your usual diet and make changes, for example. B. the abolition of sugar and the replacement of bread with wholemeal bread.
Try replacing breakfast cereals with prepared foods, such as. B. and start reducing your carbohydrate intake at lunch or dinner over the next few days. It is easier to introduce a low-carb diet gradually than to start weaning abruptly.
2: Low-carb diets work very quickly – especially on belly fat
If you want to lose weight fast, a low-carb diet is probably the fastest way to achieve this goal. Belly fat is dangerous for your health. It consists not only of subcutaneous fat, the kind stored under the skin, but also of visceral fat, the kind that goes to the vital organs, so losing this fat increases the chances of avoiding heart disease.
According to nutritionists, losing belly fat also helps prevent metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. A low-carb diet is probably the best way to lose excess belly fat fast.
3: Low-carb diets are good for improving cholesterol levelsHDL
It seems counterintuitive that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat improves cholesterol levels, but it is important to remember that cholesterol is the same, but the lipoproteins that transport cholesterol in the blood are not.
HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol, is transported to the liver where it is excreted or recycled as waste.
LDL (low density lipoprotein) removes cholesterol from the liver and enters the body, where it accumulates around vital organs, especially the heart.
A diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat increases your HDL cholesterol levels. In fact, a low-fat diet doesn’t seem to work as well as a low-carb diet to lower cholesterol and can lower healthy HDL cholesterol levels. Not all health experts share this view.
4: Low-carb diets can improve blood glucose levels
Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar during digestion, and once glucose enters the bloodstream, blood sugar levels rise rapidly. At this point, the process of insulin, a hormone, begins and your cells store glucose or burn it for energy, normalizing your blood sugar. But because some people consume a lot of carbohydrates, insulin can become overloaded and stop working properly. This insulin resistance is the main cause of type 2 diabetes.
Eliminating carbohydrates can prevent this and lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
Tip: If you have type 2 diabetes, you should consult with your doctor before cutting back on carbs so you can adjust your medication.
5: Ketos, sounds fun!
If your body cannot use carbohydrates as an energy source, it will tend to store fat to use as an energy source. Stored fat is used by the body as protection against future food shortages or cold, and the idea behind ketosis is to use the body’s own fat for energy, not food.
Ketosis occurs when the body is deficient in carbohydrates. Instead, the liver converts fatty acids into ketones, which replace carbohydrates as an energy source for the body. The body’s susceptibility to ketosis means that your unwanted fat reserves serve as a fuel source and you literally burn your own fat for energy. That sounds good, of course, but it can have health implications.
Low-carb diets generally lead to ketosis. Source
Learn more about carbohydrates…
One of the problems with a low-carb diet is that some carbs are actually very good for us.
Carbohydrates are molecules of sugar, fiber, dairy products, fruits, grains and vegetables, and are the main source of energy for the body.
There are three main types of carbohydrates: Sugar, fiber and starch. Sugar and starch provide the body with energy. Although fiber is not edible, it is important for digestion and helps the body produce fatty acids, which can also be used as an energy source.
Carbohydrates can be divided into two groups, simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple and complex carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates or refined carbohydrates are those found in foods such as white bread and pasta, pastries, sweetened drinks, cakes, chocolate bars and white sugar. This leads to a rise in blood sugar, and nutritionists agree that a diet high in simple carbohydrates is a major cause of obesity and type 2 diabetes, when insulin is so overwhelmed by its attempts to process all that sugar that it breaks it down completely.
Complex grains, on the other hand, are found in fresh vegetables like potatoes, cereals, whole wheat pasta and rice, fruits and whole grains. They are sources of fiber, which the body needs, as well as nutrients and vitamins.
: Some carbs are good for us
Most low-carb diets do not distinguish between simple and complex carbohydrates, and cutting out ALL carbohydrates means cutting out an entire group of foods and their associated nutrients and vital fiber.
Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and beans, have many health benefits. Fiber gives a feeling of satiety and reduces the risk of diseases such as breast cancer, high cholesterol and heart disease. We get our nutrients from fruits, vegetables and legumes, which cannot be replaced by taking supplements.
Tip: If you are following a low-carb diet, remember that complex carbs are your friends and simple carbs are your enemies.
2: Low-carb diets increase risk of premature death
A recent study in Germany found that low-carb diets lead to premature death. Diets with very few carbohydrates may increase the risk of premature death over time, according to findings published at a congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Germany. The study examined health data from 25,000 individuals and seven different studies with a total of 447,500 participants.
The results showed that people who ate less than 26% carbohydrates had a significantly higher mortality risk and a 50% higher risk of dying from vascular disease and a 36% higher risk of dying from cancer than people who ate more carbohydrates.
It’s not clear why low-carb diets are associated with such health risks, but one reason may be that omitting a major food group isn’t just healthy for many people. Source
3: Side effects of low-carb diets
Stopping carbon dioxide consumption can have a significant effect on energy levels. You are cautioned not to exercise during the first few days as you may become fatigued. You may also experience other side effects such as headaches, constipation, cramps, dehydration, diarrhea, bad breath, or flu symptoms. Many people say they have difficulty concentrating and are irritable. Other long-term problems include bone erosion from calcium deficiency and an increased risk of gallstones and kidney stones.
4: Ketosis can be dangerous
Ketosis carries serious health risks. When ketones accumulate in the blood, it can lead to a condition called ketoacidosis, which is more common in type 1 diabetics when they are without insulin. Ketoacidosis leads to coma and death if left untreated.
Although, like diabetics, you are advised to use Ketostix to measure the ketostix level in your blood, this seems like a very extreme and unsafe way to lose weight.
5/ Extreme diets lead to failure and weight gain yo-yo
If you cut out carbs completely, it will be difficult to maintain a normal diet, and although you may lose weight at first, such an extreme diet is difficult to maintain. All extreme diets are doomed to failure, because when we stop dieting and go back to eating normally, the weight increases. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to change your diet so that you can live with it. For most people it will just be too hard to give up all carbs.
Is this why you should follow a low-carb diet?
Yes and… and no! Of course it is useful to reduce the carbonate. It is clear that reducing carbs has many benefits for weight loss, but removing carbs to the point of ketosis is not without risk, and low carb intake does not seem to lead to a long and healthy life.
It’s a paradox. The low-carb diet has been studied and seems to do nothing but good. Many people who follow a low-carb diet have lost weight and feel healthier, but the German study cannot be ignored. This has affected thousands of people over time and has shown that a low-carb diet with less than 26% carbs per day is not healthy. This suggests that even if you are thinner, the risk of premature death is high.
However, it is important to note that many high-carb diets are not healthy either. They eat white bread, breakfast cereals, fast food, snacks and refined carbohydrates, which has been linked to health risks such as premature death and many diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
The answer seems to be to avoid carbohydrates and refined sugars and reduce total carbohydrate intake by consuming complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, fruits and fiber as part of a blended and healthy diet. So you need to lose weight without risk to your health.
This is confirmed by the medical journal Lancet, which advises us not to eliminate carbohydrates completely, but to consume them in moderation.
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