Low carb diets have enjoyed a great deal of popularity because they work!
They are highly effective for weight loss and have other important health benefits. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about low carb eating.
What is a low carb diet?
The Ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. Carbs are replaced with healthy fats and the reduction of carbs triggers a metabolic state known as ketosis, where the body begins to use fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates obtained from food.
By depriving the body of carbs, which are converted to glucose and typically used as fuel, it is forced to use its fat stores instead, literally melting it off the body when it is in ketosis.
Isn’t low carb just another diet fad?
Absolutely not, it is a lifestyle change, and is not something intended as a temporary fix or a quick weight loss scheme.
What are the health benefits of a low carb diet?
Low carb eating results in weight loss, which is often quite dramatic. Studies show it also reduces risks for cardiovascular disease. Eating low carb eliminates out of control cravings, stabilizes blood sugar and consequently the appetite.
Low carb eating supports healthy blood pressure, and helps manage diabetes and can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The Ketogenic diet is used to treat several types of cancer, along with traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and polycystic ovary syndrome.
What can I eat on a low carb diet?
You can eat meat, chicken fish, seafood, and other proteins, along with select healthy fats and carbohydrates primarily from non-starchy vegetables, cheese, cream, and nuts.
What foods are not allowed?
No refined sugar, sweets, fruit, rice, pasta, bread, grains, starches, starchy vegetables, flour, and products made with it, or beans are allowed, especially in the beginning. Slow integration of some carbs like, berries, and beans can take place as you progress and reach your goals and how much and what carbs you can have depends on your individual weight loss progress and how those carbs effect it.
How many carbs can I eat?
The Ketogenic diet recommends 20 grams or less per day, at the very least 50 grams or less. However, typically, the more active you are, the more carbs you can eat and still lose weight.
Do I have to count calories?
Low carb diets advocate eating to satisfaction, and there is no need to count calories. When you eliminate unhealthy carbs from your diet, you rid yourself of out of control cravings, stabilize blood sugar and consequently the appetite, and research has shown that reducing carb intake results in reducing overall calorie consumption naturally and without starvation.
How can it be healthy to cut out carbs from my diet?
A big part of a low carb diet is non-starchy vegetables, which are the healthiest carbs. It is the unhealthy carbs that are cut out, like refined sugar, sweets, and grains, including whole grains, that have a high glycemic load and which many experts believe we do not need.
How will my body run if I cut carbohydrates, aren’t they fuel for the body?
Carbs are not the only source of fuel for the body, as it runs quite well on fat when in ketosis. So not only will you get plenty of body fuel when lowering your carb intake, this is exactly what allows you to lose weight and turns your body into a fat burning machine.
Won’t the high fat intake cause high cholesterol?
A lot of research has shown that a low carb diet has an edge over low-fat diets for improving good HDL cholesterol levels as shown by one of the longest studies done on the subject and published in the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine.
I know I will miss carbs, and my old sugary favorites, what can I do?
Yes, of course, there is an adjustment period, and there may be struggles, but the truth is once you kick the carb habit, your body and mind will adjust and you will be better for it. There are many great health and meal replacement bars and shakes that really satisfy and make this new lifestyle a much more pleasant experience.
Is a low carb diet good for everyone?
Low carb diets, like the Ketogenic plan are ideal for those who want to lose weight, are struggling with diabetes, or have prediabetes and those looking to improve their metabolic health.
Bodybuilders, athletes, strength trainers and those participating in intensive exercise can take advantage of specific plans, such as the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet or the Targeted Keto Diet, both of which are designed around working out.