The most well-known method for losing pounds quickly, a lower-carb diet restricts carbohydrate-rich foods (grains, starchy vegetables and fruit, drinks that contain alcohol, sugar and other drinks, etc.) and instead concentrates on foods that are rich in protein and fat. Not all low-carb diets are identical, since there are low-fat, high-fat versions (like the keto diet) as well as high-protein, low-carb diets, but the benefits of a low-carb diet are certainly remarkable.
What makes the low-carb diet effective? It’s due to causing sugar (sugar) stores to quickly exhaust; once that supply is low enough your body begins to make use of fat as fuel (a mixture of your diet as well as your own storage of body fat).
Have you heard that low-carb diets have been used in the medical community for more than a century? Learn more about the numerous health benefits of a low-carb diet in the following article.
The 8 benefits of having a low-carb Diet
1. Fast Weight Loss
In terms of losing weight, calorie counting is ridiculous, but shifting your focus to what foods you consume and focussing on mindful eating can make all the difference.
Diets that are low in carbs are famous for producing fast weight loss not feeling full or having to track calories. Indeed, many are able to lose weight following an eating plan that is low in carbs even if you’ve attempted “everything else” and didn’t achieve the results they expected for.
A study from 2014 conducted in 2014 by National Institutes of Health found that, after comparing both in overweight adults, low-carb diets proved to be more effective in weight loss and reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease when compared to diets with low fat, which was demonstrated by 148 individuals who followed both types of diet programs for 12 months.
Why are diets with a low carb count, particularly the keto diet efficient in losing excess pounds, even in people who normally struggle to shed weight? If we eat food that contains sugar and carbs the hormone insulin gets released to increase blood glucose (sugar).
Insulin is frequently referred to as a “fat-storage hormone” because one of its functions is to tell cells to store as much available energy as is possible. The energy is stored as glycogen , which is derived from the glucose that is found in carbohydrates since glycogen serves as the “primary” energy source.
In removing carbohydrates from our diet and keeping your body’s glycogen stores low or almost empty, we can stop the release of insulin and storing fat. A lower level of insulin in our bloodstream is a sign that the body has to use all its glycogen stores, then go to fat stores hidden away in our adipose tissue (body fat) to continue to fuel.
2. Greater Cognitive Function
In general, carbohydrates and fats are in inverse relation to the diet of a person. Many people manage to keep their levels of protein fairly constant, but normally the more sugar and carbohydrates people consume and the lower their intake of healthy fats they consume.
This is problematic as we need healthy fats for proper brain function, mood control and hormonal regulation. While at first, a sugary or high-carb diet may cause you to feel alert and alert, after a short time you’ll probably crash and feel exhausted, grumpy and irritable.
It is the most addictive substance and has profound effects on the brain, especially in the case of increasing levels of anxiety, cravings and fatigue. However, certain kinds of healthy fats, such as cholesterol, work as antioxidants and precursors to some crucial brain-supporting neurotransmitters and molecules that control learning, memory energy, mood and mood.
Your brain is composed largely from fatty acids. It requires constant supply of fats from your diet in order to function optimally.
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 lack of omega-3 fatty acids on cognition capabilities. These effects were due to the association of consuming high quantities of glucose with insulin action, which control brain-signaling mediators.
As one might expect, the diet that was heavy in sugar, but lacking in healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids is associated to lower scores on cognitive tests as well as insulin resistance.
Research suggests the ketogenic diet is especially therapeutic when it comes to preserving the cognitive health. Researchers think that those with the greatest insulin resistance may demonstrate a lower cerebral blood flow, and thus, less brain plasticity.
This is because insulin functions as a “vasodilator” which increases blood flow to promote glucose distribution to muscles and organs, which includes the brain. This vasodilator function is stopped in the event of an individual developing an insulin resistance over the course of time due to an intake of high-carbohydrates and sugars, resulting in a decrease in perfusion of brain tissues and in the activity.
In a few studies, improvements have been observed in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients fed a ketogenic diet, with the result of improved mitochondrial function. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study highlighted new data which suggested the therapeutic benefits of ketogenic diets for multiple neurological disorders beyond epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. This includes headaches neurotrauma, Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, brain cancer autism and multiple sclerosis.
3. Lower Chance for Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Disease
A 2012 study released in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that diets with low carbohydrate intakes are more efficient in reduction of certain metabolic and heart disease risk factors than low-fat diets are as well as being at least effective in reducing weight and other factors.
The study investigated the effects of low-carbohydrate diets (<=45 percent of the energy source carbohydrates) versus low-fat diets (<=30 percent of energy coming from fat) on metabolic risk factors through a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. 23 trials from a variety of countries that had a total of 2,788 participants were used in the analysis.
The findings showed that both low-carbohydrate as well as low-fat diets reduced weight and improved the risk of metabolic disease. However, when compared with those who follow low-fat diets, those on low-carbohydrate diets had a higher rise of “good” higher-density lipoprotein cholesterol. They also experienced a more significant decrease in triglycerides.
They also experienced a lower reduction in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, compared to the group on a low-fat diet. Keep in mind that elevated cholesterol levels haven’t been proven to cause heart disease!
These findings were true despite that reductions in body the weight and waist size, and other risk factors of metabolic disease weren’t significantly different between the two diet groups. They suggest that eating low-carb diets which are higher in fat, may help in beating heart disease-related factors as as diets that are more difficult to adhere to and more likely to leave people full of food.
4. Lower Risk for Type-2 Diabetes
Researchers point out that despite the increasing incidences of type 1 and 2 diabetes and the accelerating cost of the resources required to treat and monitor diabetic patients, the medical community generally hasn’t been able to succeed in reducing either the number of people affected or the severity of the complications. Although the number of prescriptions for diabetes medicines are increasing, there’s a simple, effective cost-effective, low-cost solution that’s known to be effective in treating diabetes: decrease the amount of sugar and starch consumed in the diet.
The researchers from the Division of Endocrinology the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension at SUNY University of Brooklyn point out that a diet high in carbohydrates raises postprandial plasma glucose and insulin secretion and increases the risks of developing diabetes, heart disease, hypertension dyslipidemia and obesity.
Many studies have demonstrated that a diet with fewer carbs is a natural diabetes treatment and an effective method in the prevention of patients with kind 2 diabetes. It can also reduce chances of developing diabetes-related complications and associated risk factors such as heart disease and obesity.
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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 research study in 2005, published in the Upsala Journal of Medical Science, for two types of obese patients suffering from type 2 diabetes The effects of two different diets were examined in relation to glycemic control and body weight. A group of 16 obese patients suffering from type 2 diabetes was placed on a low-carb eating plan (1,800 calories for males and 1,600 calories for women) consisting of 20 percent carbohydrates 30 percent protein, fifty percent fat.
Fifteen obese diabetes patients were put on a high-carbohydrate diet for the purpose of forming a control group. Their diet consisting of the same calories for both genders comprised about 60 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein along with 25 percent fat.
Positive effects on the glucose levels were observed very rapidly in the group who followed the low-carb diet. Six months later, a marked diminution in body weight among patients in the low-carb diet group was also noted and it remained the same one year after.
5. Help Fighting Cancer
Research suggests that a diet that is high in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates causes damage to free radicals and actually feeds cancer cells, which may help them proliferate faster. Since low-carb diets drastically reduce sugar intake and also lower intake of grains and processed food items, they may act like a natural cancer treatment, which causes immunity to increase as oxidative stress is reduced down.
Studies have shown that consumption of carbohydrate influences prostate cancer biology, in the case of mice who were fed a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (NCKD) with considerably smaller tumors and greater duration of survival in comparison to mice fed an Western diet. The mice fed the equivalent of the western diet Western diet had more serum insulin levels, and this was associated with significant higher levels of blood glucose and tumor tissue growth.
When stopping the flow of energy to cancers healthy cells are luckily preserved as they are able to utilize fat as energy source. Cancer cells however, thrive off of glucose, and are unable to metabolically shift into using fat.
6. A Fewer Hunger Panics and Not Being Hunger-Sick!
One of the greatest benefits of a low-carb lifestyle or keto diet is eating more protein and healthy fats instead of carbohydrates and sugar is extremely satisfying since it can effectively reduce Ghrelin which is known as 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 drops and ghrelin increases.
Proteins and fats however are known to switch on the body’s satiety hormones and allowing you to last longer between meals without the need to snack.
To stop the roller coaster of highs and lows in insulin, you need to gain control over your primary appetite hormones. The easiest way to accomplish this is to maintain your appetite-boosting sugar low and include quality foods and proteins with each meal, especially in the morning , with breakfast, which sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Ketones created by the body during the ketogenic diet also have been shown to help curb the craving for food and make intermittent ketogenic fasting less difficult. Studies conducted on the average weight adults, consumption of exogenous ketone supplements has been proven to cause less ghrelin production, less hunger , and less desire eating.
7. Better Digestion
Sugar reduction means better digestion function for most people, since sugar is a source of “bad bacteria” that thrive within the digestive tract. The consequence of a diet that is excessively high in sugar and carbs can lead to the development candida virus IBS or worsened symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
Plenty of vegetables, quality protein and healthy fats on the other hand they can function as burning fats and help nourish the digestive tract and limit the growth of bacteria.
A 2008 study that was published in Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association found that people suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) (IBS) report symptom improvements when they begin a very-low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD). When participants with moderate to severe IBS were provided a two-week normal diet followed by four weeks of a VLCD (20 grams of carbohydrates per day) and the majority were able to report improvement in abdominal symptoms, stool habits, and overall quality of life.
8. Better Hormone Regulation
We’ve all heard about the benefits that the low-carb diet has on insulin and appetite hormones, but going low-carb appears to also assist in balancing the neurotransmitter activity of some people and thus improve mood.
Researchers at the Discipline of Psychiatry and School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide compared the hormonal and psychological effects of a low protein, high-carbohydrate (LPHC) diet with HPLC, a high-protein low carbohydrate (HPLC) diet in women suffering from a hormone disorder called polycystic-ovarian syndrome (PCOS) over the course of 16 weeks. They discovered significant reductions of depression and a rise in self-esteem among those who were who were on the low-carb diet.
Participants attended a weekly exercise, education and support group and were able to complete The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at the start and at the end of the study. The HPLC diet was found to help regulate hormones naturally and was connected with significant reductions in various depressive symptoms and improved feelings of well-being , and a greater likelihood of being more consistent with long-term treatment of obesity.
As you can observe, numerous studies suggest that following a low-carb diet can bring about improvements in cognitive function, weight management, heart wellbeing, blood sugar and cancer prevention, in addition to other advantages of a low-carb diet.
Versions of low-carbohydrate diets include the ketogenic diet and Atkins — South Beach and Dukan begin low-carb before transitioning to healthier carbs.
Evidence shows that to enjoy the benefits of the low-carb diet it’s important to stay on an equivalent version of the diet for longer than a month.