Why You Should Try a Low-Carb Diet
When you think of diets, a low-fat diet or a low-calorie plan probably comes to mind, but low-carb diets are becoming more popular, and for good reasons. Reduced carbohydrate diets can be highly effective, and they offer numerous health benefits.
The Effectiveness of Low-Carb Diets for Weight Loss
Scientists have conducted research to determine the effectiveness of low-carb diets for weight loss, often comparing them to reduced fat diets. In 2006, scientists reviewed the research comparing low-carb and low fat diets and published their findings in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The scientists concluded that the research shows six months of a low-carb diet is more effective for weight loss than a low-fat diet. Based on the research, you can expect to lose more weight on a low-carb diet when compared to a low-fat plan.
Heart Health Benefits of Going Low-Carb
In addition to producing greater weight loss when compared to a low-fat diet, low-carb diets appear to be superior for promoting heart health. In 2009, scientists writing for Obesity Reviews analyzed numerous studies that assessed the effects of low-carb diets on the cardiovascular system. They found that low-carb diets are more effective for reducing triglycerides and blood pressure and for increasing levels of healthy HDL cholesterol when compared to low-fat and reduced calorie plans. Following a low-carb diet could reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and elevated levels of artery-clogging triglycerides to a greater extent than traditional low-fat or low-calorie diets.
Reduced Diabetes Risk with Low-Carb
In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease, low-carb diets can prevent diabetes. A study in a 2004 publication of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that low-carb diets were just as effective as low-fat diets were for reducing body weight and body fat, but low-carb was more efficacious for reducing insulin levels. Another study, which researchers with The Ohio State University conducted for a 2019 edition of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that low-carb diets were most effective for reducing metabolic syndrome, a form of carbohydrate intolerance that is linked to diabetes.
In addition to reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease and promoting weight loss, low-carb diets may be easier to stick to than a traditional low-fat diet, because they allow dieters to consume filling, satisfying foods like cheese, bacon, avocados, and almonds. If you have struggled with traditional diet plans and with the help of your physician, a low-carb diet can allow you to enjoy the foods you love while losing weight and improving your health. In the Ohio State study, dieters in the low-carb group consumed an average of 45 grams of carbohydrates per day. If you have questions about the specifics of a low-carb diet and how many grams of carbs you should consume per day, consult with your physician or a nutritionist.