A popular method of losing pounds quickly, a lower-carb diet limits carbohydrate foods (grains along with starchy vegetables and fruit, items with added sugar, most alcohol and so on.) and instead focuses on foods that are rich in protein as well as fat. The low-carb diets do not all look identical, since there are low-fat, high-fat variations (like the keto diet) as well as high protein low-carb diets. But the benefits of a low-carb diet are surely impressive.
What makes the diet low in carbs successful? It’s due to causing glucose (sugar) stores to rapidly get depleted. When that supply is depleted the body will utilize fat as fuel (a combination of coming from your diet as well as your own stored body fat).
Do you realize that low-carb diets have been utilized in the medical field for over a century? Find out more about the many advantages of a low-carb diet by reading the article below.
8 Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet
1. Fast Weight Loss
In terms of losing weight, calorie tracking is insane, but shifting your focus to the types of foods you consume and focusing on mindful eating can be the key to success.
The low-carb diet has a reputation as being able to help you lose weight quickly that doesn’t leave you hungry, or needing to count calories. In fact, many people notice weight loss after the low-carb lifestyle, even if they’ve done “everything else” and never got the results they were hoping for.
A study from 2014 conducted by National Institutes of Health found that, following a comparison of the two in overweight adults, low-carb diets proved to be more effective in weight loss and reduction of cardiovascular risk factors as compared with diets that are low in fat according to 148 participants using both diet plans over 12 months.
Why are diets with a low carb count, especially the keto diet, efficient in losing excess pounds, even in people who typically struggle to shed weight? If we eat food that contains sugar and carbs, the hormone insulin is released as a reaction that causes the blood to rise in sugar (sugar).
Insulin is frequently referred to as a “fat-storage hormone” because one of its jobs is to inform cells to conserve as many energy as it is feasible. This energy is initially stored as glycogen , which is derived from the glucose in carbohydrates since glycogen serves as the “primary” energy source.
In removing carbohydrates from our diet and keeping your glycogen stores in the body at a low level or almost empty, we can stop the release of insulin, and the body from storing fat. A lower level of insulin in our bloodstream means that the body is forced to exhaust all glycogen stores and reach into fat stores tucked away within our adipose tissue (body fat) to continue to fuel.
2. Improved Cognitive Function
Carbohydrates and fats typically are in inverse relation to one’s diet. A majority of people have their eating protein in a steady manner however, the more carbs and sugar people eat and the lower their intake of healthy fats they consume.
This is because we need healthy fats to maintain proper brain function in mood control, mood and hormone regulation. While initially a sugary or high-carb food may make you feel more awake and alert, after a short time you’ll likely come crashing down and you’ll feel tired as well as irritable, angry and cranky.
Sugar can be addictive, and has powerful effects on brain, particularly in relation to the increase of cravings, anxiety and fatigue. On the other hand certain types of healthy fats like cholesterol, work as antioxidants as well as precursors to crucial brain-supporting neurotransmitters and molecules which regulate learning, memory and mood.
Your brain is mostly made from fatty acids. It needs a constant flow fats in your diet in order to function at its peak.
A report from 2012 which was released by The Journal of Physiology found evidence of the pronounced metabolic effects of a high-sugar diet coupled with a deficit of omega-3 fatty acids on cognition abilities. These effects are due to the association of consuming high amounts of glucose and insulin action, which regulate the brain’s signaling mediators.
As one might expect, the unhealthy diet that was rich in sugar but deficient in healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids was linked in lower cognition scores as well as insulin resistance.
Research suggests the ketogenic diet can be particularly beneficial for protecting the cognitive health. Researchers believe that those who have the greatest insulin resistance might exhibit a decrease in cerebral blood flow and therefore, less brain plasticity.
It is because insulin acts as an “vasodilator” and increases the flow of blood to improve glucose distribution to organs and muscles, including the brain. The vasodilator function ceases in the event of an individual developing insulin resistance after an intake of high-carbohydrates and sugars and results in a reduction in perfusion of brain tissues and in the activity.
In certain studies, improvement was observed in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s that eat ketogenic food, with the result of improved mitochondrial function. A European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study revealed new research which suggested the therapeutic benefits of ketogenic diets for multiple neurological disorders beyond epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, such as headaches, Parkinson’s disease and neurotrauma sleeping disorders, cancer of the brain, multi-sclerosis and autism.
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3. Lower risk for Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Disease
A study in 2012 that was released in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that low-carbohydrate diets are much more efficient in reducing certain metabolic and heart disease risk factors than diets that are low in fat and are at least effective in reducing weight and other risk factors.
The study looked into the effects of low-carbohydrate diets (<=45 percentage of calories coming from carbohydrates) as opposed to low-fat diets (<=30 percent energy from fat) on risk factors for metabolic disease by conducting a meta analysis of randomized controlled studies. Twenty-three studies from various countries , with an average of 2,788 participants were used in the analyses.
The results indicated that both low-carbohydrate and fat-free diets helped reduce weight and improve metabolism risk indicators. In contrast to people who were on low-fat diets low-carbohydrate diets experienced a significantly more significant rise in “good” low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a greater reduction in triglycerides.
Also, they experienced a lesser reduction in total cholesterol as well as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, compared to the low-fat diet group. But, remember that elevated cholesterol levels are not proven to contribute to heart disease!
The findings were valid despite the fact that decreases in body weight, waist circumference, and other risk factors for metabolic health were not significantly different between the two diets. They suggest that eating low-carb diets, that contain more fat, could help fight heart disease risk factors just as as diets that are harder to stick with and are more likely to make people hungry.
4. Lower Risk for Type-2 Diabetes
Researchers have pointed out that, despite the rising rates of type 1 and 2 diabetes , and the rising cost of resources needed to treat and monitor diabetic patients, the medical field generally hasn’t been able to succeed in decreasing the number of patients in the affected group or the intensity of the consequences. While prescriptions for diabetes medications continue to climb, there’s an easy, efficient cost-effective, low-cost solution that’s confirmed to work with diabetes: decrease the amount of starch and sugar that you consume.
The researchers from the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetic and Hypertension at SUNY University of Brooklyn point out that a high-carbohydrate diet increases postprandial plasma glucose levels and insulin secretion, thereby increasing risk of diabetes as well as heart disease hypertension dyslipidemia, and obesity.
Many studies have proved that a diet with fewer carbs is an natural treatment for diabetes and a powerful tool for prevention of patients suffering from kind 2 diabetes. It may also lower chances of developing diabetes-related complications and associated risk factors such heart disease and obesity.
A growing body of evidence shows that although a diet high in “healthy carbs” like whole grains is still recommended to many sick patients, low-carbohydrate diets are comparable if not better than traditional low-fat/high-carbohydrate diets for weight reduction, improvement in the dyslipidemia of diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well as control of blood pressure, postprandial glycemia and insulin secretion.
In a study from 2005 published in Upsala Journal of Medical Science and focusing on two groups of obese people suffering from type 2 diabetes two different diets were evaluated in relation to glycemic control as well as body weight. An entire group consisting of overweight patients suffering from type 2 diabetes was put on a low-carb food plan (1,800 calories for males and 1,600 calories for women) comprising 20 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and fifty percent fat.
A group of obese diabetics was put on a high-carbohydrate diet for the purpose of forming a control group. The diet of same calories for both genders comprised about 60 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein and 25 percent fat.
Positive effects on the glucose levels were noticed very quickly in the group following the low-carb program. Six months later, a significant reduction in the body weight of patients on the low-carb diet group was also noted and this continued for one year following.
5. Help Fighting Cancer
Research suggests that a diet high in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates causes damage to free radicals and even feeds cancerous cells, possibly helping them proliferate faster. Because low-carb diets dramatically reduced sugar consumption and a lower intake of processed and grain-based foods, they might be a natural cancer treatment, and cause immunity to improve as oxidative stress goes down.
Studies suggest that intake of carbohydrates affects prostate cancer biology in the case of mice who are fed a carb-free ketogenic diet (NCKD) with considerably smaller tumors and greater life spans than mice fed a Western diet. Mice fed the equivalent of a western diet Western diet were more insulin-dependent. serum insulin levels, which were associated with significantly higher blood sugar levels and growth of tumor tissue.
When stopping the flow of energy to cancers, healthy cells are protected as they are able to utilize fat for energy. Cancer cells are, however, thrive off of glucose and don’t have the ability to shift metabolically to use fat.
6. Fewer Cravings and Not Going Hungry!
One of the most significant benefits of a low-carb diet or the keto diet is that you consume more protein and healthy fats in place of sugar and carbohydrates is an extremely satisfying experience, as it effectively helps turn off Ghrelin, which is one of the “hungry hormone.”
According to studies that insulin is a negative regulator of the ghrelin hormone, and high density lipoprotein may be a carrier particle that increases the circulating levels of ghrelin. In other words, carbs increase insulin levels quickly and trigger cravings for food in the future as blood sugar decreases and ghrelin levels increase.
Proteins and fats in contrast are known for switching on the body’s satiety hormones . This allows you to last longer between meals, without the need to take a snack.
To get off the roller-coaster of fluctuating levels of insulin You must gain control over your primary appetite hormones. The easiest way to accomplish this is to keep the appetite-inducing sugar levels low and to include high-quality proteins and fats with every meal, especially in the morning , with breakfast that sets the mood for the whole day.
The ketones created by the body in the ketogenic diet have been proven to reduce hunger and make keto fasting more manageable. Studies conducted on the average weight adults, consumption of ketone supplements exogenous to the body has been found to result in lower levels of ghrelin and thereby lessen appetite, and less desire eating.
7. Better Digestion
Less sugar means better digestive function for most people, since sugar is a source of “bad bacteria” that can thrive in the gut. The result of a diet rich in sugar and carbohydrates could lead to the development of candida-related virus IBS along with worsening symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
A variety of vegetables, high-quality protein and healthy fats in turn they can function as burning fats and aid in the maintenance of the digestive tract as well as reduce the growth of bacterial.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association found that people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience a reduction in symptoms when they begin a very-low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD). If participants suffering from moderate to severe IBS were provided a two-week normal diet followed by four weeks of a VLCD (20 grams of carbohydrates per day), the majority were able to report improvement in stomach symptoms, stool habits, and overall quality of life.
8. Better Hormone Regulation
We’ve all heard about the benefits that low-carb diets can have on insulin and appetite hormones however, going low-carb is believed to help regulate neurotransmitter function in some people and thus improve mood.
Researchers from their Discipline of Psychiatry and School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide compared the hormonal and psychological impacts of a diet with low protein high carbohydrate (LPHC) diet and a high-protein, low carbohydrate (HPLC) diet for women with a hormonal disorder known as polycystic ovary disorder (PCOS) over the course of 16 weeks, they found an impressive reduction of depression and a rise in self-esteem among those who were following a low-carbohydrate diet.
The participants participated in weekly exercises, group support and educational program and were able to complete The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at the start and at the end during the course of study. The HPLC diet was found to help to balance hormones naturally, and was associated with significant reductions in various depressive symptoms and improved feelings of wellbeing and a higher probability of being more observant with long-term obesity treatment.
As you can see, numerous studies demonstrate that a diet that is low in carbs can lead to improvements in cognitive function, weight management and heart wellbeing, blood sugar, and cancer prevention, in addition to other benefits of a low-carb diet.
Versions of low-carbohydrate diets include ketogenic diet as well as Atkins — South Beach and Dukan begin with low-carbs before moving onto healthier carbs.
There is evidence to suggest that to enjoy the benefits of the low-carb diet it’s crucial to follow one version of the diet for longer than a month.