Low Carb Diet
What are the benefits of a low carb diet and when can low carb be a good choice for helping you reach your personal nutritional goal? Here is your answers.
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This is how low carb works
For the most part, our diet consists of the three macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, which play different roles in our metabolism. Carbohydrates are a pure source of energy and are often abbreviated to “carb”. A low carb diet is one that contains only a small proportion of carbohydrates.There is no general rule as to when a diet is referred to as low carb, but rather general guidelines that you will learn later.
Low carb diets also often include “ultra low carb” or “no carb” diets such as the Atkins diet. These diets are ketogenic, which means that your metabolism completely switches to energy from ketone bodies rather than carbohydrates. This alternative form of energy generation has some advantages over normal energy production, but also some risks, which we will discuss later.
Some variants of the low carb diet rely on a change of energy from carbohydrates to ketone bodies, here the timing of the nutrients plays a crucial role, particularly when carbohydrates are eaten. The ability to transition between the two energy recovery systems is trainable like many other things, so our body will be better at switching between them over time.
Why a low carb diet?
In recent years, many studies have shown that, in addition to generally high calorie intake, excessive sugar consumption is in large part responsible for the increasing proportion of overweight and obese people in the world. Why is this the case? Sugar is a carbohydrate and, as such, is used exclusively for energy production in our body. Added carbohydrates are broken down in the digestive tract to glucose and then wait in our bloodstream for your use – in the muscles, brain, or organs. However, if there is no need for carbohydrates, a healthy body will push the stop button when a certain amount of glucose is in the blood and start storing that glucose in our fat cells. In a society that offers food in abundance and where a large percentage of the population gets too little exercise, this automatism makes it especially easy to become overweight. Most processed products are made mostly of carbohydrates, as they can be easily and cheaply processed. In addition, many foods and drinks are sweetened to suit the taste of the masses – this sweetness is usually derived from other carbohydrates.
Is low carb healthy?
A low carb diet is a diet that tries to reduce carbohydrates. In most low carb diets, short-chain carbohydrates are partially or completely dispensed with. The idea behind it is relatively simple: the body should “burn” the fat reserves instead of the carbohydrates. The desired result: weight loss.
A low carb diet dispenses with carbohydrates, as these are converted into sugar in the body and thus the blood sugar level rises. To reduce this, the body produces insulin, which not only inhibits the burning of fat but also triggers hunger in the brain. Properly done, the diet change to low carb and the following weight loss are very sustainable and can also be done as a long-term diet. But it also depends on how intense the carbohydrate reduction is and whether the whole diet has been carried out properly. If the carbohydrate reduction is just too high, there is an increased risk of regaining some weight after the diet is finished. In addition, it can lead in the long term to lack of energy or fatigue. This in turn impairs performance, weakens the immune system, and harms regeneration of the body. However, when the low carb diet is carried out properly, the body will continue to be adequately supplied with all the essential nutrients and there will be no deficiencies. Your optimal weight and nutrient distribution can be determined with our BMI Calculator.