What is Low Carb Diet
All foods are made up of Three Primary Macro Nutrients – Carbohydrates (or sugars), Proteins and Fats. Low carb implies that the percentage of carbohydrate (by calorie) is low . A Low Carb Diet limits Carbohydrates such as grains, starchy vegetables and fruit and emphasizes dietary protein and fat. Many types of Low-Carb Diets exist, each with varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates you can eat. A Low-Carb Diet is generally used to lose weight. Some Low Carb Diet claim that they have health benefits beyond weight loss, such as reducing risk factors associated with heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Classification of Carbohydrates in Diet
- High Carb 50-70%
- Moderate Carb 40-50%
- Low Carb 25-39%
- Very Low Carb 0-25%
However it is common to find that any diet less than 50-60% Carb Ratio is called a Low Carb Diet. Depending on one’s sensitivity to Carbohydrates, a Moderate Carb Ratio may be better than a High Carb Ratio.
How a Low-Carb Diet Works
A Low-Carb Diet restricts the amount of Carbohydrates you can eat. Carbohydrates are a type of macro-nutrient found in many foods and beverages. Most Carbohydrates occur naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add Carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugar. Common food sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include: –
Your body uses Carbohydrates as its main fuel source. Sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars during digestion. They’re then absorbed into your bloodstream, where they’re known as blood sugar (glucose). From there, the glucose enters your body’s cells with the help of insulin. Some of this glucose is used by your body for energy, fueling all of your activities, whether it’s going for a jog or simply breathing. Extra glucose is stored in your liver, muscles and other cells for later use or is converted to fat. The theory behind the Low-Carb Diet is that insulin prevents fat breakdown in the body by allowing sugar to be used for energy. Proponents of the Low-Carb Diet believe that decreasing carbs results in lower insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately helps you shed excess weight and reduce risk factors for a variety of health conditions. Your body changes from a Carbohydrate-burning engine into a Fat-burning engine. So instead of relying on the Carbohydrate-rich items you might typically consume for energy, and leaving your fat stores just where they were before (alas, the hips, belly, and thighs), your fat stores become a primary energy source.
Low Carb Diet
The usual range for a Low Carb Diet would be from 20 to 50 grams per daily intake. You must decide how strict you need to be. The best way to answer this is to explore and discover the amount is working well for you. On some occasions, it can be as high as seventy grams. Seventy grams are usually a generous amount, and would be basically used for people in regular weight training, and in other cardio exercise routines. Refrain from processed or refined carbohydrates, apart from the occasional treat. These types of carbohydrates are the major cause of obesity, insulin resistance, unwanted Weight Gain, and many diseases which are related to poor diet. Some refined and processed carbohydrates would be tacos, pizza, cakes, coffee, potato chips, sodas, and jello.
Risks of Low Carb Diet
High protein, Low-Carb Diets can cause a number of health problems, including:-
- Kidney Failure. Consuming too much protein puts a strain on the kidneys, which can make a person susceptible to kidney disease.
- High Cholesterol. It is well known that high protein diets (consisting of red meat, whole dairy products, and other high fat foods) are linked to high cholesterol. Studies have linked high cholesterol levels to an increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
- Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones. High protein diets have also been shown to cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their urine. Over a prolonged period of time, this can increase a person’s risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones.
- Cancer. One of the reasons high protein diets increase the risks of certain health problems is because of the avoidance of carbohydrate-containing foods and the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants they contain. It is therefore important to obtain your protein from a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Not only are your needs for protein being met, but you are also helping to reduce your risk of developing cancer.
- Unhealthy metabolic state (ketosis). Low-Carb Diets can cause your body to go into a dangerous metabolic state called ketosis since your body burns fat instead of glucose for energy. During ketosis, the body forms substances known as ketones, which can cause organs to fail and result in gout, kidney stones, or kidney failure. Ketones can also dull a person’s appetite, cause nausea and bad breath. Ketosis can be prevented by eating at least 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.
Low Carb Food List
- 3 things you need to know about protein (mnn.com)