The low carb diet reduces your caloric intake of carbohydrates such as fruits, starches and grains, replacing them with higher amounts of fats and proteins.
There are many different versions of this diet, each with specifically designed limitations and guidelines on the types and quantities of carbohydrates that you can ingest.
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Why is the low carb diet so popular?
The low carb diet was initially designed with the intention of reducing body weight, but many of these diet plans claim other beneficial side effects as well, such as reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Why would you want to give up carbohydrates?
You might want to affect change in a variety of areas of lifestyle choices:
- You may want to eat healthier and change your eating routines.
- You may simply find these low-carbohydrate foods more appealing.
- You may want a diet that will help you lose weight by restricting carbohydrate intake.
Please check with a physician before undertaking any sort of change in dietary program. You may be at risk if you have certain types of health problems, such as diabetes.
What exactly is a low carb diet?
Basically, the low carb diet controls the caloric intake of carbohydrates, reducing the types of foods that you are allowed to eat which contain carbohydrates. This nutrient can most commonly be found in plant based foods, such as grains and cereals, but they can often be found as additives to manufactured and processed foods by the addition of starch and sugar by the national food chains.
Some of the most common foods where carbohydrates occur naturally consist of milk, nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds and legumes.
The human body utilizes carbohydrates as a main source of energy, giving you strength for your daily activities. These carbs metastasize into sugars, which then enter into your body’s cells with the assistance of insulin which is produced naturally by the body.
It is believed that by reducing carbohydrates in your diet, the body also reduces the creation of insulin. Lower insulin levels means that you body will begin burning fat for energy in place of the sugars created by insulin and carbohydrates. This will ultimately lead to a decrease in weight.
What do you typically eat?
A low carb diet focuses on eating protein in the form of meats, fish, eggs, and poultry in combination with certain non-starch vegetables.
You are limited in the amounts of grains, breads, fruits, sugary foods and snacks, and certain vegetables high in starch, such as corn.
Many diets restrict the carbohydrate intake more severely at the beginning of the plan, and then gradually allow increases over time, but the daily limit is usually between 50 to 150 grams of carbs per day.
What should I expect to see happen as a result of this diet?
Although most people initially lose weight no matter what type of diet plan they pursue, they also seem to regain that weight back after the initial beginning period. But the low carb diet seems to support other data.
This diet seems to keep the weight off over longer periods of time. This may not be entirely due to the decrease in carbohydrate intake though. Studies show that the eating of more protein makes one feel full and feel full longer. This may also be a key ingredient to the loss in weight.
Many of these low carb diet plans, including the popular Atkins Diet, claim that the consumption of more protein and less carbohydrates can reduce certain risk factors attributed to certain types of cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even metabolic syndrome. However, any diet that creates weight loss to a healthy level will also create the decrease in these risk factors as well.
Many nutritionists believe that it is not necessarily the amounts of carbs that you ingest that create negative effects in weight gain, but the types of carbs instead. Carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables and grains are considered much healthier choices than those carbs found in sweets, potato chips and processed foods.
The sudden decrease in carbohydrate intake could cause you to temporarily feel dizzy from time to time, cause headaches, feel weak, fatigue and tiredness, and even constipation.
It is entirely possible to restrict your carbohydrates to such a low level that is can actually cause harm. Not all carbohydrates are bad. Eating “good” carbs found in breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables far outweigh those found in cakes and cookies.
So, be conscientious about your diet, but do not create new problems of other nutritional deficiencies instead. One possible side effect from a severe lack of carbohydrates in your diet can be the occurrence of Ketosis. This appears when you don’t have enough sugars in your system. This can lead to further headaches, nausea, forgetfulness, and even bad breath.
Since the low carb diet is a new form of weight loss regiment, the available research and studies are somewhat limited. Unfortunately, the ability to prove how promising or how detrimental this diet can be to anyone’s health is still under consideration by health care experts.