Is A Low-Carb Diet Really Healthy?
There is a lot of controversy over low-carb diets. Are they really healthy, or not? Here are 3 reasons why a low-carb diet may be right for you – but only if you do it right…
If you’re considering switching to a low-carb diet, you may find yourself confused by all the conflicting information out there. Are these types of diets healthy or unhealthy?
The answer depends on whom you ask or what study you are reading. Some say that depriving yourself of carbs will put you in an irritable mood – while other studies say the exact opposite. While strict low carb diet plans can cause a range of unpleasant side effects, when done properly, a more relaxed low-carb diet can offer many benefits.
With low-carb diets, you will be cutting out many of the starchy foods (simple carbs) like pasta and rice, and sugary processed foods, and replacing them with quality protein, vegetables, and fresh fruits. Regardless of how you view carbs, this sounds like a pretty healthy thing, doesn’t it?
Another bonus to going low-carb is that you won’t have to worry so much about counting calories with a lot of the foods you will be eating, such as fish, meats, and vegetables that grow above ground – peppers, broccoli, lettuce, and cucumbers.
However, on a low-carb diet, you will need to avoid certain foods such as a lot of fruits, potatoes, breads, and soda or juice. These all have carb grams in the double digits because of all of the sugar and starch you’ll find in them. While you don’t want to eliminate carbs altogether (carbs of the complex variety found in whole foods such as whole grains and many fruits and vegetables are important for good health), cutting out some of the more highly-processed and high-glycemic options can be great for your health.
If you’re thinking about trying a low-carb diet, here are a few benefits that you may notice, as long as you do it right:
1.) Suppresses hunger and reduces appetite
Diets, by their very nature, can cause you to feel constantly hungry. It’s one of the major reasons most diets fail. However, when done right, a low carb diet can actually reduce your appetite and suppress those difficult hunger pangs.
A good low carb diet doesn’t just decrease the amount of simple carbohydrates you consume – it also increases protein and healthy fat intake. These are both known to keep you feeling fuller for longer. By replacing simple carbs with complex ones, healthy fats, and high-quality protein sources, you will find yourself feeling full and satisfied, and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods between meals.
2. May help reduce risk of various diseases
Low carb diets are often used to help prevent and treat chronic diseases and conditions. These include diabetes, obesity, heart disease and hyperinsulinemia.
Reducing simple carbohydrates and replacing them with small portions of complex carbohydrates helps to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
3.) Helps you to lose weight – especially abdominal fat
When it comes to weight loss, low carb diets are proven to help you shed the pounds. Most impressively, they really help you to target the stubborn abdominal fat that can be difficult to shift through exercise.
Abdominal fat is typically much more dangerous than muscular fat found in the thighs or buttocks or other areas of the body, so eliminating may help to reduce your risk of developing potentially serious health problems.
There are a few reasons why low carb diets tend to work better than other diets for weight loss. Largely, they involve increased amounts of protein which, as mentioned earlier, help to keep you feeling full and prevent overeating.
However, they also force the body to look for other sources of fuel and that ends up being stored fat. With fewer carbs being consumed, your body has no choice but to start burning fat instead of glucose.
There are many benefits to switching to a low carb diet. However, it is important to ensure you’re doing it correctly. If you don’t increase the amount of protein you consume, or if you still consume simple carbohydrates such as white bread, you won’t feel the full benefits.
You also may experience unpleasant side effects such as moodiness or bad breath if you eliminate all carbs from your diet or over-do it on the protein. A more moderate approach has been found to provide more health benefits, without the ill effects.