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Top 13 Benefits Of Low Carb Diet



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Low-carb diets have been controversial for decades. It has been argued by some that because of the high amount of fat present in these types of diets, it can lead to increased levels of cholesterol and the potential for heart disease.

Many scientific studies demonstrate that low-carb diets are both advantageous and beneficial for health. These are the demonstrated advantages to health from following low-carb and ketogenic diets.

1. Low-Carb Diets Reduce Your Appetite
Hunger
 tends to be the worst side effect of dieting. It is one of the main reasons why many people feel miserable and eventually give up. However, low-carb eating leads to an automatic reduction in appetite.

Research findings consistently demonstrate that when individuals limit carbohydrate consumption and up their consumption of protein and fat, they end up consuming considerably fewer calories. Research has shown that eliminating carbohydrates can naturally decrease your desire to eat and the amount of calories consumed.

2. Low-Carb Diets Lead to More Weight Loss at First

Cutting carbs is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lose weight. Studies illustrate that people on low-carb diets lose more weight, faster, than those on low-fat diets — even when the latter are actively restricting calories.

The initial weight loss attributed to low-carb diets is caused by the body ridding itself of excess water and lowering insulin levels, resulting in rapid losses within the first fourteen days.

In trials that pitted low-carb diets against those limited in fat, those who limited their intake of carbohydrates were seen to lose far more weight than the latter group, and this was achieved without their having to contend with the pangs of hunger.

A single experiment involving overweight individuals showed that a low-carb diet was more successful for up to six months than a traditional “lose-weight” diet.

After that, there was little variation between the weight loss achieved by different diets. A research project was conducted over twelve months in order to study the effects of a low-fat or a low-carb diet on 609 people with a high weight. Both diets resulted in the participants losing equivalent amounts of weight.

In virtually all cases, people see better results with regard to short-term weight loss when they follow low-carb diets, rather than low-fat diets. In spite of initial successes, it appears that the benefits of a low-carb diet are not sustained over an extended period.


3. A Greater Proportion of Fat Loss Comes From Your Abdominal Cavity
Not all fat in your body is the same. Where fat is stored determines how it affects your health and risk of disease.

Subcutaneous fat is located beneath the skin, and visceral fat is generally found in the abdominal area of those who are overweight or obese, particularly for males.

Visceral fat tends to lodge around your organs. Excessive abdominal fat is connected to inflammation and a resistance to insulin and could be the cause of metabolic issues that are prevalent in many Western countries today.

Diets with limited carbohydrate intake are excellent for decreasing the dangerous belly fat. A larger percentage of fat that is shed from low-carb diets appears to come from the stomach area.

In the long run, this should drastically lower the probability of one developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Roughly a great deal of the fat that is released on low-carb diets is typically the dangerous visceral fat, which can lead to major metabolic difficulties.

Low-carb regimens have a track record of creating prompt slimming down without experiencing the sensation of discomforting hunger or the need to count calories. Many people have found success in losing weight by following a low-carb diet, even when other methods have been unsuccessful in providing the desired outcome.

In 2014, the National Institutes of Health undertook a study that investigated the effect of low-carb and low-fat diets in overweight adults. This research indicated that a low-carb approach to dieting was superior in terms of weight loss and reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in 148 individuals who participated in the 12-month study.

Insulin is often called a “fat-storage hormone” because it encourages cells to hold on to as much energy as they can. Initially, our body converts the glucose from carbohydrates into glycogen, which is our main energy reserve.

By avoiding eating any carbohydrates and making sure that the body’s glycogen supplies are at a low level or nearly empty, insulin will not be released and fat storage can be prevented.

Less insulin being in the bloodstream makes the body use its saved glycogen, and then it must access the fat that is stored in our body fat.

Triglycerides are fat molecules that circulate in your bloodstream. It is well known that high fasting triglycerides — levels in the blood after an overnight fast — are a strong heart disease risk factor.

Inactive individuals tend to have higher levels of triglycerides and this can largely be attributed to their intake of carbohydrates, especially fructose, a type of simple sugar. When individuals lower their carbohydrate intake, they commonly observe a substantial decrease in their blood triglyceride levels.

Conversely, being on a diet with little fat typically leads to an elevation in triglycerides. Diets that are low in carbohydrates have been proven to be highly successful in dropping levels of blood triglycerides, which are fatty molecules that can pose a threat to heart health.


5. Increased Levels of ‘Good’ HDL Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is often called the “good” cholesterol. The higher your levels of HDL relative to “bad” LDL, the lower your risk of heart disease. One of the best ways to increase “good” HDL levels is to
 
eat fat
 — and low-carb diets include a lot of fat.

It is quite expected that HDL will significantly go up when a person follows a healthy, low-carb diet, but only a mild increase, or even a decrease, will be observed when someone follows a low-fat diet. Low-carb diets generally have a high fat content, causing a striking enhancement of HDL levels in the blood.

6. Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
Low-carb and ketogenic diets can also be particularly helpful for people with diabetes and insulin resistance, which affect millions of people worldwide. Studies prove that cutting carbs lowers both
 
blood sugar
 and insulin levels drastically.

For certain individuals suffering from diabetes, they may require to quickly lower their insulin intake by half when beginning a low carb diet. In a recent investigation of individuals with type 2 diabetes, it was found that 95% did not need to use blood glucose-lowering medication, as their levels were more under control, in a mere six months.

Discuss with your doctor before altering your carbohydrate consumption if you are on sugar blood treatment, as your amount might need to be modified to stop hypoglycemia.

The most effective way to bring down blood sugar and insulin levels is to decrease the amount of carbohydrates consumed, which could help to cure or potentially reverse type 2 diabetes.


7. May Lower Blood Pressure
Elevated blood pressure, or hypertension, is a significant risk factor for many diseases, including heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Low-carb diets are an effective way to lower blood pressure, which should reduce your risk of these diseases and help you live longer.

Cutting carbs leads to a significant reduction in blood pressure, which should reduce your risk of many common diseases.


8. Effective Against Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a condition highly associated with your risk of diabetes and heart disease. In fact, metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms, which include:
  • Abdominal obesity
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated fasting blood sugar levels
  • High triglycerides
  • Low “good” HDL cholesterol levels

Nevertheless, a low-carb lifestyle can be remarkably successful in taking care of all five of these indications. Under such a diet, these conditions are nearly eliminated.

Healthy diets with a low number of carbohydrates can successfully counteract all five primary signs of metabolic syndrome, a severe illness which increases an individual’s chances of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.


9. Improved ‘Bad’ LDL Cholesterol Levels
People who have high “bad” LDL are much more likely to have heart attacks. However, the size of the particles is important. Smaller particles are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, while larger particles are linked to a lower risk.

It appears that following a low-carb diet leads to larger sizes of the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while reducing the overall number of LDL particles in the blood. Decreasing the amount of carbohydrates that you consume can improve your cardiovascular health.

When following a low-carb diet, the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol particles get bigger in size, decreasing the likelihood of them being detrimental to your health. Reducing the consumption of carbohydrates may decrease the quantity of LDL molecules present in your bloodstream.


10. Therapeutic for Several Brain Disorders

The brain requires glucose to function properly since certain areas of it can only use this type of sugar. The reason for this is that your liver will create glucose from protein if you are not consuming any carbohydrates.

A major portion of the brain is equipped to utilize ketones, which are generated when someone either goes without food or consumes very little carbohydrates. This is an explanation of the procedure behind the ketogenic diet, which has been utilized for many years to help kids with epilepsy who do not react to medication treatment.

In various situations, this type of nutrition regimen can be effective in eliminating seizures in children with epilepsy. In a single research, more than one out of every two children placed on a ketogenic diet experienced a significant decrease of over half of their seizures, and 16% become completely seizure-free.

Research is currently underway to investigate the efficacy of both low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets in treating conditions affecting the brain such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

11. Better Cognitive Function

Generally, people’s diets will usually have an opposing balance between fats and carbohydrates. Generally, people tend to maintain the same level of protein, though usually when someone eats more carbs or sugar, they eat fewer healthy fats.

This is a problem since we require nutritious fats to enable proper brain activity, to control emotion and for hormone administration. Eating something high in sugar or carbohydrates might give you a burst of energy to begin with, but shortly thereafter you may experience a dip that results in fatigue, bad temper and a snappy attitude.

Sugar is habit-forming and can have a substantial impact on the mind, particularly in terms of enhancing longings, uneasiness and lethargy.

Conversely, certain benevolent varieties of fat, including cholesterol, have characteristics like those of antioxidants and molecules that form the basis for certain elements found in the brain, which aid in the areas of learning, memory, mood, and energy.

Your brain consists predominantly of fatty acids and needs a consistent intake of fats from what you consume to work at its best.

A study from 2012 which appeared in The Journal of Physiology indicated that if someone consumes a lot of sugar accompanied by an inadequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids, their cognitive functioning could be adversely affected.

The association of eating a lot of glucose and the action of insulin, a hormone that regulates brain-signaling material, led to these effects.

It is unsurprising that the consumption of a diet heavy in sugar but lacking adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids was linked to lower cognitive performance and an increased risk of insulin resistance.

Studies hint that the ketogenic diet is particularly beneficial when it comes to guarding mental health. Researchers suspect that people with severe insulin resistance may present with a diminished cerebral blood flow and, as a result, decreased brain plasticity.

Insulin works by being a vasodilator, which means that it causes blood vessels to widen, This makes it easier to get glucose to the muscles, organs, and even the brain.

The effects of this vasodilator are hindered when a person develops insulin resistance due to a regular consumption of high-sugar and high-carb foods, which in turn results in a decrease in the flow of blood to brain cells, leading to weakened activity.

In certain experiments, those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia who ate a ketogenic diet have shown progress, which may be indicated by improved mitochondria operation.

A recent report from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition brought focus to growing evidence that ketogenic diets may be beneficial for a variety of neurological disorders beyond epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, including headaches, neurotrauma, Parkinson’s, sleeping difficulties, brain cancer, autism, and multiple sclerosis.

12. Help Fighting Cancer

Studies demonstrate that a dietary plan rich in processed carbohydrates and sugar leads to free radical harm and apparently gives sustenance to cancer cells, potentially aiding them replicate speedier.

Low-carb diets, by reducing sugars and grains as well as processed foods, may have a comparable effect to a cancer treatment as immunity is raised and oxidative stress is decreased.

Research has demonstrated that the amount of carbohydrate consumed is related to prostate cancer biology, as evidenced in mice that were given a no-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (NCKD). The mice with the NCKD had much smaller tumors and a longer life span than those that were provided a Western diet.

Mice which were provided the same amount of food as most humans would typically eat had increased levels of insulin in their bloodstream, resulting in higher blood sugar which also had a notable effect on the growth of the tumors.

The advantage of cutting off energy to cancers is that healthy cells can continue to utilize fat for energy, so they remain unharmed. Cancer cells, on the contrary, rely heavily on glucose, and are unable to switch to using fat in their metabolic process.

13. Fewer Cravings and Not Going Hungry

Switching from sugary carbohydrates to lipids and proteins when following a low-carb or ketogenic diet can be extremely satiating, as it can dampen the activity of ghrelin, otherwise known as the “hunger hormone.”

Research shows insulin acts to reduce ghrelin, and high-density lipoprotein could be a way to raise the amount of ghrelin in the bloodstream. In other words, eating carbs causes the body to increase insulin production, and leads to more feelings of hunger when blood sugar levels dip and the hormone ghrelin is released.

Fat and protein can activate hormones which produce feelings of fullness, meaning you will not need to eat in between meals as often.

To regulate insulin levels, you must take charge of the hormones that manage your cravings.

One of the simplest approaches to achieving this is to decrease the level of sugar that increases appetite and to include foods high in proteins and fats during every meal, especially in the initial meal of the day, breakfast, which can define your whole day.

It has been proven that the ketones generated when following a ketogenic diet help to control hunger pangs and make it more feasible to engage in periodic fasting while following a low-carb eating plan.

Research has revealed that taking exogenous ketone supplements can bring about a decrease in ghrelin levels, a decline in appetite and a reduction in the urge to eat in individuals of normal weight.

Side notes

  • As you can see, many studies show that following a low-carb diet can result in improvements in weight management, cognitive function, heart health, blood sugar and cancer prevention, among other benefits 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 reap the benefits of a low-carb diet, it’s important to stay on a version of the diet for more than a month.


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