Now there is Proof! Low-Carb Diets are Healthy Diets
Low-carb diets have been known to help people lose weight, however, there are benefits beyond weight loss. Here are some scientifically proven health benefits to low-carb and keto diets.
Low-Carb Diets Suppress your Appetite
Not only does eating a low-carb diet naturally curb your cravings for your favorite sweets and high-carb foods, but according to studies, it also causes a decrease in overall appetite. This results in dieters consuming fewer calories and increasing their weight loss. Low-carb diets are like a secret weapon in keeping hunger at bay.
Low-Carb Diets Lead to More Weight Loss
People following a low-carb diet lose more weight and lose weight faster. This is especially true during the first six months. In the first few weeks of the diet, this increased loss is primarily from losing water weight. Over time, however, studies show that those following a carbohydrate restricted plan do lose significantly more weight than those on a calorie restricted plan.
People Lose More Belly Fat
And isn’t a flat belly what we all want? Of course a low-carb diet leads to overall fat loss, but more of this fat comes off the midsection than in a low fat diet. As belly fat is especially damaging to your health – leading to insulin resistance, metabolic disorder, and overall inflammation – losing belly fat offers a particularly strong benefit to your health.
Triglycerides Go Down
A high carbohydrate diet can increase triglyceride levels, especially in a person that already has a high BMI and/or insulin resistance. A diet heavy in carbohydrates is suspected to lead to carbohydrate induced hypertriglyceridemia. Conversely, when people eat a very low carbohydrate diet, their triglyceride levels drop significantly. As elevated triglycerides are a well-known risk factor for heart disease, it is important to keep them low.
Increased Levels of the “Good Cholesterol,” HDL
Studies have repeatedly shown that high concentrations of HDL reduce a person’s risk for heart disease while low concentrations of HDL show an increased risk. Low-carb diets lead to an increase in heart healthy HDL levels, actually lowering a person’s risk for heart disease.
Reduced Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Being overweight or obese is the number one risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Simply losing wight, which will happen on a low-carb diet, will reduce a person’s risk factor for type 2 diabetes. A low-carb diet greatly reduces the body’s need for the hormone insulin as there is much less glucose circulating in the bloodstream. This reduced dependence on insulin leads to a reduced risk for deadly type 2 diabetes.
Reduced Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke and is also a large risk factor for numerous other diseases such as heart disease and kidney disease. High blood pressure has even been linked to a decreased lifespan. Following a low-carb diet has been shown to be an effective way to reduce blood pressure and the damage that high blood pressure causes to arteries. While research repeatedly shows that weight loss alone typically produces a healthy reduction in blood pressure, a low-carbohydrate diet has an additional blood pressure-lowering effect beyond what simply losing weight would account for. The exact mechanism is still being researched, but it is clear that a low carb-diet will significantly reduce blood pressure.
Ketogenic Diets Combat Metabolic Disorder
Metobolic disorder is a collection of symptoms consisting of hypertension, elevated triglycerides, low HDL levels, high blood sugar, and excessive abdominal fat. It is also linked to insulin resistance. Metabolic syndrome raises the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other serious health problems. The good news is that a low-carb, ketogenic diet leads to an improvement in all five key symptoms and reduces insulin resistance. Eating a low-carb diet improves the hormonal signaling involved in obesity related metabolic disorder, according to Matthew R. Hayes, of the University of Pennsylvania. This reduction in metabolic disorder symptoms leads to a decreased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which are both leading causes of death in the United States.
One Important Caveat
Low carb diets are only healthy as long as they are below 120 grams of carbohydrates per day. A high fat/high protein diet that has more than 120 grams of carbohydrates a day is actually very unhealthy. A high fat intake is only healthy with a truly low-carb diet.
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“American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”; A High-Protein Diet Induces Sustained Reductions in Appetite, Ad
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