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Home ยป Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet

Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet

It is known for helping people shed weight quickly, a low-carb diet restricts carbohydrate-rich foods (grains as well as starchy vegetables, fruits, food items that contain added alcohol, sugar and other drinks, etc.) and instead focuses on foods that contain protein and fat. There are many low-carb diets that are identical, since there are low-fat, high-fat variants (like the keto diet) and high-protein low-carb diets. However, the advantages of a low-carb lifestyle are definitely impressive.

What makes the diet low in carbs successful? It’s because it causes the glucose (sugar) storage to rapidly exhaust; once that supply is low enough your body begins to utilize fat as fuel (a mixture of your diet and storage of body fat).

Have you heard that diets with a low carb content have been utilized in the medical field for over 100 years? Learn more about the numerous benefits of a low-carb diet in the following article.

Eight Benefits to a low-carb Diet

1. Fast Weight Loss

In terms of losing weight, counting calories is insane, but focusing your attention on the kinds of food you consume and paying attention to your eating habits can be the key to success.

Low-carb diets are known for delivering rapid weight loss with no hunger or having to track calories. Many people notice weight loss after the low-carb diet, even though you’ve attempted “everything else” but didn’t get the results they were hoping for.

A study from 2014 conducted by National Institutes of Health found that, after comparing the two for overweight people, diets with fewer carbs proved to be more effective in weight loss and reducing cardiovascular risk factors when compared to diets with low fat, as shown by 148 people who followed both types of diet plans for 12 months.

What makes low-carb diets and low carb ready meals, particularly the keto diet extremely effective in shedding weight, even for those who struggle to shed weight? When we consume foods that contain sugar and carbs insulin is released as a reaction to increase blood sugar (sugar).

Insulin is commonly referred to as”a “fat-storage hormone” since it’s primary function is to tell cells that they should store as much available energy as is possible. The energy is stored as glycogen , which is derived from the sugars found in carbohydrates because glycogen constitutes our “primary” energy source.

In removing carbohydrates from our diet and keeping our glycogen stores of the body low or even empty, we can stop the release of insulin and storage of fat. The lower levels of insulin in our bloodstream, which means that the body has to exhaust all glycogen reserves, and then access fat stores hidden away in the adipose tissue (body fat) to continue to fuel.

2. Improved Cognitive Function

The carbs and fats usually are in inverse relation to the diet of a person. The majority of people maintain their the amount of protein they consume fairly steady however, the more sugar and carbs people consume and the lower their intake of healthy fats they consume.

This is a problem since we require healthy fats to maintain proper brain function as well as mood control and regulation of hormones. Although at first, a sweet or high-carb diet may cause you to feel alert and alert, soon after you’ll probably crash and feel exhausted angry, cranky, and unhappy.

It is the most addictive substance and can have profound effects on the brain, particularly in relation to the increase of levels of anxiety, cravings and fatigue. However certain types of healthy fats, such as cholesterol, function as antioxidants, and are precursors to essential brain-supporting substances and neurotransmitters that regulate memory, learning and mood.

The brain is made mainly from fatty acids. It requires constant supply of fats in your diet in order to function optimally.

A report from 2012 released in The Journal of Physiology found evidence of the strong metabolic effects of a diet high in sugar coupled with a lack of omega-3 fatty acids in relation to cognitive capabilities. The reason for these effects was the connection between eating large levels of glucose and insulin action, which regulate the brain-signaling mechanisms.

It is not surprising that the diet that was heavy in sugar, but lacking in healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids was linked to lower scores on cognitive tests as well as insulin resistance.

The ketogenic diet can be particularly beneficial in terms of protecting the health of your brain. Researchers believe that those with the greatest insulin resistance may have a lower cerebral blood flow, and consequently, less brain activity.

This is due to the fact that insulin acts as an “vasodilator” which increases blood flow in order to increase glucose distribution to organs and muscles, including the brain. The vasodilator function ceases when a person develops insulin resistance after an excessive intake of sugar and carbs which results in a decline in the perfusion of brain tissue and brain activity.

In some studies, improvements has been seen in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s who eat a ketogenic diet which is reflected in factors such as increased mitochondrial function. An European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study highlighted new data which suggested the therapeutic benefits ketogenic diets to treat multiple neurological conditions that go beyond epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, such as headaches, Parkinson’s disease, neurotrauma, sleeping disorders, cancer of the brain, the autism spectrum and multiple sclerosis.

3. Lower risk for Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Disease

A study from 2012 that was published in American Journal of Epidemiology found that diets with low carbohydrate intakes are more efficient in decreasing certain metabolic and risk factors for heart disease than diets with low fats and are at least efficient in reducing weight and other risk factors.

The study examined the effects of diets with low carbohydrate intake (<=45 percent of the energy coming from carbohydrates) as opposed to low-fat diets (<=30 percentage of the energy coming from fat) on risk factors for metabolic disease through a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. 23 trials from a variety of countries , with 278 participants were used in the analysis.

The results indicated that both low-carbohydrate as well as low-fat diets reduced weight and improved the risk of metabolic disease. However, compared to those on low-fat diets, those on low-carbohydrate diets had a higher rise of “good” HDL cholesterol, and a larger reduction in triglycerides.

They also had a lower reduction in total cholesterol as well as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared to the group on a low-fat diet. But, remember that elevated cholesterol levels are not proven to be a cause of heart disease!

The results were consistent despite the fact that decreases in the body size, weight, and other risk factors for metabolic health did not differ significantly between the two diets. The study suggests that satiating low-carb diets, that contain more fat, may help in beating heart disease-related factors as those diets are more difficult to adhere to and more likely to leave people feeling hungry.

4. Lower Risk for Type-2 Diabetes

Researchers have pointed out that despite the increasing prevalence of type 1 and 2 diabetes , and the increasing cost of resources required to treat and monitor diabetic patients, the medical field generally hasn’t succeeded in decreasing the number of patients suffering from the problems. As prescriptions for diabetes-related medications increase, there is an easy, efficient low-cost method that has been tested and proven to work for diabetes: reduce the amount of starch and sugar in your diet.

The researchers from the Division of Endocrinology, diabetes and Hypertension at SUNY University of Brooklyn point out that a diet high in carbohydrates increases postprandial plasma glucose levels and insulin secretion which increases the chances of developing diabetes and heart disease, hypertension dyslipidemia, and obesity.

Numerous studies have proven that a diet low in carbs is an effective natural treatment for diabetes and a powerful tool for treatment of people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. It also helps reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes and associated risk factors such as heart disease or 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 in 2005, with two types of obese patients suffering from type 2 diabetes The effects of two diets were evaluated in relation to glycemic control as well as body weight. The study included 16 overweight 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) which comprised 20 percent carbohydrates 30 percent protein, and fifty percent fat.

15 obese diabetics were placed on a diet high in carbohydrates to be used as a control group. The diet of same calories for women and men comprised of approximately 60 percent carbohydrates 15 percent protein, as well as 25 percent of fat.

Positive effects on the glucose levels were observed very quickly in the group that followed the low-carb diet. Within six months a significant decrease in body weight for people in the low-carb diet group was also noticed and it remained the same one year after.

5. Help Fighting Cancer

Research has shown that a diet rich in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates can cause damage to free radicals and feeds cancer cells, which could help them grow faster. Since low-carb diets drastically reduce sugar intake and also lower intake of processed and grain-based foods, they could be a natural cancer treatment, which causes immunity to increase as oxidative stress goes down.

Research suggests that the intake of carbohydrates affects prostate cancer biology which was demonstrated by mice that were fed a non-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (NCKD) with much smaller tumors and extended time to live as compared to mice who were fed an Western diet. Mice fed the equivalent of the Western diet, a human Western diet showed higher levels of serum insulin levels, which were associated with significant increases in blood glucose levels and the growth of tumor tissue.

When stopping the flow of energy to cancers healthy cells are saved because they can use fat as energy source. Cancer cells however thrive on glucose, and are unable to metabolically shift to utilize fat.

6. Less cravings, and not getting hungry!

One of the greatest advantages of a low-carb diet or the keto diet is that you consume higher amounts of healthy fats and proteins instead of carbohydrates and sugar is extremely satisfying since it can effectively reduce Ghrelin, which is which is the “hungry hormone.”

According to research that insulin is a negative regulator of the hormone ghrelin and high-density lipoprotein could be a possible carrier to increase the amount of circulating ghrelin. Also, carbohydrates increase insulin levels quickly and cause cravings for food in the future as blood sugar levels drop and ghrelin levels increase.

Proteins and fats, in contrast are known to switch on your body’s satiety hormones , allowing you to stay longer between meals without having to snack.

To stop the roller coaster of lows and highs in insulin it is essential to get control of your main appetite-enhancing hormones. The easiest way to accomplish this is to keep your appetite-inducing sugar levels low and to include high-quality protein and fats in every meal, particularly at the beginning of the day with breakfast that sets the tone throughout the day.

Ketones produced by the body as a result of the ketogenic diet have been proven to reduce appetite and make intermittent keto fasting more manageable. Based on studies that were conducted on average weight adults, the consumption of ketone supplements that are exogenous has been proven to cause the suppression of ghrelin, a reduction in appetite and less desire to consume food.

7. Better Digestion

Sugar reduction means better digestion function for the majority of people, because sugar feeds “bad bacteria” which thrive within the digestive tract. A diet that is too heavy in carbs and sugar could lead to the development of candida virus IBS as well as worsened signs of leaky gut syndrome.

A variety of vegetables, high-quality healthy fats and proteins however are able to act as fat-burning food items that can also aid in nourishing the digestive tract and limit the growth of bacteria.

A study from 2008 that was published in Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association revealed that patients suffering from IBS, also known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have improved symptom severity following the introduction of a very low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD). If patients suffering from moderate to severe IBS were given a two-week normal diet followed by four weeks of a VLCD (20 grams of carbohydrates per day) The majority of them experienced improvement in stomach discomfort, stool habits and overall quality of living.

8. Better Hormone Regulation

We’ve all heard about the benefits that the low-carb diet has on appetite hormones and insulin However, a low-carb diet appears to help regulate neurotransmitter functions in certain people and improve their mood.

Researchers of researchers from the Discipline of Psychiatry and School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide compared the psychological and hormonal consequences of a low-protein high carbohydrate (LPHC) diet with an extremely high-protein, low carbohydrate (HPLC) diet for women suffering from a hormonal disorder known as polycystic ovary disorder (PCOS) over the course of 16 weeks. They found an impressive reduction in depression as well as an improvement in self-esteem among those who were who were on the low-carb diet.

Participants attended an exercise program every week, as well as a group support , and an educational program and took an assessment called the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at the beginning and the end in the research. The HPLC diet was found to help to balance hormones naturally, and was linked to significant reductions in the severity of depression and improved feelings of wellbeing and a higher probability of being more consistent with the long-term treatment for obesity.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, a lot of studies have shown that the low-carb diet may lead to improvements in the management of weight, cognitive function and heart well-being, blood sugar levels and cancer prevention, in addition to other advantages of a low-carb diet.

Low-carbohydrate diets are a variety of options, including ketogenic diets and Atkins — South Beach and Dukan begin with a low-carb diet before moving to healthier carbs.

Research suggests that in order to benefit from the low-carb diet, it is essential to adhere to the same diet for longer than one month.