What is a Low Carb Diet?
Low carb diet constitutes low-carbohydrate foods, such as grains, starchy vegetables, and fruit, which are limited, while those strong in protein and fat are favored.
Low carb diet comes in a variety of forms. The types and quantity of carbs you can eat vary depending on the diet. Carbohydrates are one of three major food groups that the body requires to function correctly. Fats and proteins are the other two.
Carbohydrates provide energy to the body. Carbs are broken down by the body for immediate or later absorption. If the body does not require the carbohydrates for energy right now, it stores them in the muscles and liver for later use. If the body does not utilize the carbs it has stored, it turns them to fat.
Low carb diet have been shown in studies to help people lose weight and improve their health markers. These diets [low carb diet] have been popular for decades, and many doctors advocate them. The best part is that you usually don’t have to track calories or use any specific products. All you have to do is eat whole foods to get a balanced, nutritious, and satisfying diet.
Natural fats don’t have to be feared, according to new research. Instead, you won’t gain weight if you follow a low carb diet. Simply cut back on sugar and carbs, make sure you’re getting enough protein — even if it’s a lot of protein — and consume enough natural fat to enjoy your meals.
Purpose of a Low Carb Diet
A low carb diet is commonly used to lose weight. Low carb diets can help you lose weight while also lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. When you eliminate sugar and carbs, your blood sugar levels tend to stabilize, and the fat-storing hormone insulin levels decline, making it simpler to burn fat stored in your body.
Furthermore, higher protein consumption and the presence of ketones (if eating very low carb) may help you feel more full, resulting in naturally reduced food intake and weight reduction.
Foods to Include and Exclude in a Low Carb Diet
Foods to Consume
- Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and others; grass-fed is best.
- Seafood & other marine foods: Salmon, trout, haddock, and many others; wild-caught fish is best.
- Eggs & poultry: Omega-3-enriched or pastured eggs are best.
- Green and non-green Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and many others.
- Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- High-fat dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.
- Fats and oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil, and fish oil.
Foods to Avoid
- Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, agave, candy, ice cream, HFCS[high fructose corn syrup food], and many other products that contain added sugar.
- Refined grains: Wheat, rice, barley, and rye, as well as bread, cereal, and pasta.
- Trans fats: Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
- Diet and low-fat products: Many dairy products, cereals or crackers are fat-reduced but contain added sugar.
- Highly processed- canned foods: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it.
- Starchy vegetables: It’s best to limit starchy vegetables in your diet if you’re following a very low-carb diet.
Health Benefits of a Low Carb Diet
1. A low-carbohydrate diet suppresses your appetite.
2. At first, a low carb diet results in more weight loss.
3. When an individual follows a low carb diet the Abdominal Cavity Accounts for a Larger Part of Fat Loss.
4. A low carb diet is extremely successful at lowering blood triglycerides, fat globules that increase your risk of cardiac disease.
5. Low carb diets are heavy in fat, which leads to a significant increase in “good” HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
6. Cutting out carbs lowers blood pressure, which lowers your risk of a variety of ailments.
7. All five primary symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a dangerous condition that increases your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, can be easily reversed with a healthy low carb diet.
8. The size of your “bad” LDL particles grows when you follow a low carb diet, which diminishes their damaging effects.
9. Cutting carbs might even help you lower the total quantity of LDL particles in your blood.
Different Types of Low Carb Diet
Many people stick to low carb diets because they believe that if the body doesn’t get enough carbohydrates, it won’t accumulate fat. The theory is that the body will burn some of the stored fat instead of carbs, resulting in weight loss. There are various diets that are considered as low carb diet depending upon the food item they constitute. So let’s discuss a few of them:-
1. Keto diet:- This is the most restrictive plan, forcing you to consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day while considerably increasing your fat intake. This is a well-known weight-loss plan. A low-carb diet is referred to as “ketogenic” (like the Atkins diet). The goal is to consume more calories from protein and fat while consuming fewer calories from carbohydrates. The carbs that are easiest to digest, such as sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread, are the first to go.
The ketogenic diet for weight loss is based on the idea that depriving the body of glucose, which is the major source of energy for all cells in the body and is obtained by ingesting carbohydrate foods, ketones, an alternative fuel, is formed from stored fat.
2. Traditional Low Carb:- This method involves eating 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day; many people start here because it’s less restricted than a keto diet meal plan while still delivering results. A classic low carb diet concentrates on proteins and non-starchy veggies in general. Grain, legumes, fruits, bread, sweets, pasta, and starchy vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds, are often limited in a low carb diet. Some low carb diet programs, on the other hand, allow for small portions of fruits, vegetables, and entire grains.
3. Atkins Diet:- Initially with very low carbohydrate consumption and progressively incorporating more carbohydrate-rich meals throughout, the Atkins diet takes you through four phases. It’s ideal for those who like a more organized schedule. The Atkins diet encourages eating protein and healthy fats while restricting what is known as net carbohydrates (which include those found in vegetables). As you get closer to your weight loss target, you can reintroduce some carbs to your diet.
5. Dukan Diet:- There are four phases in this option: two for weight loss and two for maintenance. The Dukan diet, for example, concentrates on high-protein foods in the first phase, vegetables in the second, two “celebration” meals per week in the third, and weight maintenance in the fourth. It appeals to folks who require a structured approach because the diet may be followed from a book. The Dukan diet’s main goal is to assist people in losing weight. It has no potential advantages other than lowering your risk of obesity-related diseases if you can keep the weight away.
6. Paleo diet:- The paleo diet isn’t necessarily low in carbs because it excludes grains, especially if you include root vegetables (like sweet potatoes) and fruit, but it can be followed this way. By contributing to high and highly processed eatable items with little nutritional value and too many calories from your diet, you can improve your health. This diet promotes eating a variety of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which fill you up quickly and help you eat less, thus preventing weight gain.
The Risk or Side Effects of Low Carb Diet
Severe carbohydrate restriction can cause your body to break down fat into ketones as a source of energy. Ketosis is the term for this state. Side effects of ketosis include poor breath, headaches, weariness, and weakness. It’s unclear what sort of long-term health consequences a low-carb diet would entail.
Long-term carb restriction can lead to vitamin and mineral shortages, as well as gastrointestinal problems. Some health officials feel that eating a lot of fat and protein from animals may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and some malignancies. Pay close attention to the fats and proteins you choose if you adopt a low carb diet.
Limit saturated and trans fats in your diets, such as meat and high-fat dairy products, as they can raise your risk of heart disease. When an individual follows a low carb diet for a longer duration he/she may suffer headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, constipation & body ache.
Some of the major side effects are mentioned below:-
1. Bone deterioration is a common side effect of low carb diet. When you’re in ketosis, you’re less likely to consume calcium. Carbohydrate-containing fibers are eliminated.
2. A low carb diet causes low insulin production, which can cause hypothyroid-like symptoms including sluggishness. When your body is in ketosis, you will feel incredibly fatigued and exhausted.
3. You can drop a lot of weight by following a low carb diet. Your body is stressed the majority of the time, which might cause your menstrual cycle to be disrupted. Amenorrhea, which refers to the entire absence of periods, can occur in very extreme circumstances.
4. Another adverse effect of ketosis is that it lowers the pH of your blood, making it acidic. Waste materials in the blood crystallize in the kidneys and form kidney stones when the blood is too acidic.
5. After a few days on the low carb diet, you’ll start to get splitting headaches. This occurs because your brain tends to run on glucose and uses up any remaining glucose stores before switching to ketones for energy. Because the brain is continuously focusing on using an alternative source of energy, you generally feel agitated and have trouble concentrating.
Does a Low Carb Diet Work?
A low carb diet, particularly a very low carb diet, may cause more weight loss in the short term than low-fat diets. However, most studies have concluded that the benefits of a low carb diet are minimal beyond 12 or 24 months.
Weight loss from a low carb diet may be due to more than just calorie and carb reduction. In many circumstances, a weekly weight loss of 1–2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) is a reasonable objective.
Some people lose weight more quickly than that, while others take longer. According to research, low carbohydrate diets can be quite efficient for weight loss. According to observation, a low carb diet is efficient to some extent. Sometimes it can also lead to side effects which have been already discussed above.
Reducing carbs tends to suppress your hunger and result in spontaneous weight loss, or weight loss that does not necessitate calorie counting. A low carb diet allows individuals to eat till they are content while still losing weight.
Some of the Tips to Maintain Low Carb Diet
Below are the tips mentioned which will help you in maintaining a low carb diet:-
1. It is very essential to know which foods are low in carbs.
2. Understand the carbohydrate content and serving sizes of various foods.
3. Try to maintain a diet/meal plan.
4. Carry low carb snacks with you.
5. Before beginning a low carb diet, people should be aware of the potential health hazards.
6. Exercise is essential for general health. Sedentary behavior should be avoided, while excessive exercise should be avoided.
1 week Sample Low carb Diet Plan
- 2 Baked veggies omelet
- 1 orange
- 1 medium bowl baked chicken
- 1 tall glass mintade
- 1 medium bowl poha
- 1 bowl Veggies salad
- Handful Blackberries
- 2 serving Flavored yogurt
- 2 Poached egg
- 1 serving Vermicelli upma
- 1 medium bowl chicken stew
- 1 serving Tartare sauce
- 2 Low carb fruit muffin
- 1 Orange
- 2 serving Black chana pulao
- 1 serving Tamarind sauce
- 2 Idli
- 1 medium bowl Vegetable soup
- 3 Chicken sticks
- 1 large bowl Egg drop soup
- 1 small bowl Baked- herbed garlic broccoli
Total calories:- 1704kcal
- 1 serving Raspberries mulberries topped yogurt
- 1 small bowl of oatmeal
- 3 Dal stuffed pooris
- 1 small bowl Boiled – spiced Black gram
- 100gm red/black Grapes
- 2 Toast with cheddar cheese
- 2 fillet Salmon
- 1 serving Yoghurt
- 4 Breadstick
- 1 serving Heavy cream
Total calories:- 1642kcal
- 1 serving Greek yogurt
- 1 tall glass Coconut water
- Handful roasted nuts & seeds
- 1 large Minced meat pancake
- 1 medium Fruit bowl
- 1 serving Macaroni
- 1 fillet Salmon
- ½ serving Green chili sauce
- 1 serving Egg nog
- 1 medium bowl Sauté vegetables
- 2 Egg yolk sandwich
- 1 small bowl Baked chicken
- 2 Banana pancake
- 1 serving Maple syrups
- Handful nuts
- 2 serving Spaghetti bolognese
- 1 Macaroni cheese pie
- 1 serving Hummus
- 1 serving Baked-spiced chicken
- 2 serving Lasagna with meat sauce
- 4 Meatballs
- 1 serving Tomato sauce
Total calories- 1705kcal
- 2 Egg –veg lettuce wrap
- 10 almonds
- 1 serving Spaghetti
- 1 large bowl Boiled squash
- 1 small bowl of Roasted chicken
- 1 French omelet
- 1 Orange
- 1 medium bowl Bean & veggies salad
- 1 serving Kimchi
- 2 serving Zucchini noodles
- 2 Nutri- nugget matar kabab
- 2 Breadstick
- 2 serving Baked broccoli chicken
- 1 serving Carrot – garlic sauce
- 1 Pear
- 1 medium bowl Roasted cauliflower
- 2 Baked -Stuffed zucchini
- 2 Lettuce wraps
- 2 Salmon-egg yolk tart
Total calories:-1273.48 kcal
Weight loss from low carb diets may be due to more than just calorie and carb reduction. According to some research, the increased protein and fat in your diet may help you lose weight by making you feel fuller for longer, causing you to eat less.
Remember that weight loss that lasts is usually the result of long-term lifestyle adjustments rather than a fad diet. “However, if you truly follow a low carb diet effectively, you’ll be replacing those starchy meals with low-carb, high-fiber veggies, which should help alleviate constipation by delivering as much, if not more, fiber than you had before,”.
When following a low carb diet, it’s critical to eat healthily and avoid overindulging in specific items, such as fatty meats. Before making any big adjustments, people who want to lose weight or consider going on a low carb diet should consult with their doctor or nutritionist.