Benefits and Downfalls of Low Carb Diets


Authored by Rodney Southern in Weight Issues 
Published on 04-19-2009

Low carb diets including Atkins, Zone, and South Beach are popular within the diet and fitness community. These diets are thought to allow individuals fast, substantial weight loss. Many have sworn by low carb diets for these particular reasons.

The theory behind low carb dieting pertains to the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. It is believed that the consumption of carbohydrates spikes insulin levels. This insulin spike causes blood sugar to surge into the body therefore restricting the ability to breakdown fat for energy. Low carb diets control carbohydrate intake, which in turn is said to promote the breakdown of fat as the blood sugar is kept stable. This stable blood sugar is the secret behind the success and benefits of any low carb diet.

Low carb dieting is effective for weight loss in other ways as well. Diets of a low carb variety tend to aid in lowering caloric intake, restrict water weight gain, and if executed properly, can lower cholesterol levels. These are the benefits of low carb diets. But just as there are benefits there are bound to be downfalls.

The body relies upon carbohydrates for energy. When carbohydrate intake is limited, an individual on a low carb diet can experience a lack of energy. This downfall can be overcome if the individual chooses good sources for their minimal carbohydrate intake. Foods such as oatmeal, or anything made of whole grain are acceptable for this. These will help the body maintain its stable blood sugar level while adding the benefit of fiber. The fiber will help provide satiety as well as aid in the digestive process.

One of the most difficult obstacles facing low carb diets is lack of variety as far as foods are concerned. Many vegetables and starches are off limits. However, if you are not particularly fond of these types of foods there is no conflict.

The most important key to low carb diets is one of its largest downfalls. When relying on mostly a carnivorous diet, it is imperative to choose the right meats. One must keep in mind that the primary objective is to lose weight. Now, while eating bacon and steak may help you lose weight while following a low carb diet it can also shoot your cholesterol levels through the roof. When utilizing a low carb diet, and to experience its full spectrum of benefits, one must make healthy choices. Opting for salmon, tuna, turkey, and other lean proteins are the way to go. By choosing healthier alternatives such as these, you will be able to achieve your weight loss goals quicker. Choosing the right proteins will also allow you the added benefit of keeping your cholesterol level in check while low carb dieting.

Low carb dieting, as with any other diet plan is something you should discuss with your doctor. He or she will then assist you in weighing out the benefits and downfalls of low carb diets for your particular situation.


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