Everyone is unique and there is no magic diet that will suit everyone. However, following a low-carb diet can have many health benefits, from weight loss to the prevention and management of chronic diseases. This article will explain why we believe a lower-carb diet results in the most weight loss and provides the most health benefits while remaining a sustainable way of eating in the long term.
Here are some of the most significant:
1. Prevention or management of type 2 diabetes
There is a big reason why low carb diets are so popular among clinicians and diabetic persons. Maintaining stable blood glucose levels is important to prevent complications associated with diabetes. As carbohydrates have the biggest impact on our blood sugar and insulin level, reducing the amount we eat each day in turn reduces the amount of glucose entering our bloodstream.
2. Weight loss
The most researched area in the ‘low-carb’ space is around weight loss. It is also one of the main reasons why people first consider a low carb diet, and to be frank a low carb diets weight-management power cannot be denied. Seeing as carbs are no longer the main source of energy, fat-stores are used to burn energy instead.
It’s also been proven that a low carb diet produces fewer feelings of hunger, with dieters maintaining a much better mood than they do on other diets.
Side note: Since being overweight or obese is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, it is important to consider how effective a low-carb diet is for weight loss.
3. Increased energy
Most of us are used to all the refined carbs with big plates of pasta or munching on granola bars to get that boost. No one will argue that sugar doesn’t give you a quick boost, but it will also leave you crashing later. Eating a heavy carb diet causes your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Meaning your energy levels act a bit like a rollercoaster - going up and down.
Eating a low carb diet will stabilise blood sugar levels, preventing the rollercoaster affect altogether. After a week or so, of eating low carb, you will feel more energised overall.
3. Minimising LDL (bad) cholesterol & preventing heart disease
I am sure you’re thinking how this can be, especially considering there is fat present in a low carb meal plan. However, even though research has shown a link between increased fat intake and high cholesterol levels, large meta-analyses have found no relationship between fat intake and cardiovascular (heart) disease.
This suggests that lowering carb intake and replacing with increased, and healthy sources of, protein and fat will not increase risk of heart disease, as once thought. Still not convinced? Another suggested theory of why low-carb diets protect against heart disease is that they help to protect our blood vessels – from damage and blood clotting.
4. Reduced inflammation
If you dive deeper into various illnesses, you will find that they all tend to have one thing in common: inflammation. Anxiety, depression, fatigue, heart disease and autoimmune condition, all seemingly unrelated health problems, have their roots in inflammation.
To be clear, not all inflammation is inherently bad. When you catch a virus, acute inflammation is there to help repair damaged tissue and help fight off the intruder. But chronic inflammation over time fuels health problems. Refined, sugar-laden and certain starchy carbohydrates cause inflammation. By reducing these in your diet, will in turn reduce inflammation. Sticking to a low carb diet that includes fibre-rich carbohydrates, that are packed with powerful antioxidants and bioactive compounds, can prevent free radical damage and reduce inflammation.
5. Managing PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic disease that is correlated with abnormal glucose and androgen (natural or synthetic steroid hormone) metabolism. This hormonal issue affects close to 10 per cent of all women and causes many problems such as weight-loss resistance and fertility issues. Studies have shown that following a low carb diet can help manage insulin sensitivity and therefore, is a good natural treatment for this disease.
Apart from the above benefits, there are many other health benefits that come out from following a low carb diet. Improved metal clarity, calmer digestive systems, reduced sugar craving etc. Some people experience even more improvements, some of which can be life-changing: lower blood pressure, fewer migraines, lessened acne, and more.
If you’re curious to boost your health, following a low-carb diet could be worth considering. Find out if low carb is right for you, here.