Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Benefits of a Low Carb Diet

Low carbohydrate diet is a divisive topic when it comes to weight loss diet options. Some experts believe that low carb diet increases the chances of heart diseases and incident of high cholesterol.

However, for the past 12 years 20 studies have been conducted to see the effects of low carbs diet on human bodies. And most of these studies showed that low carb diet offers better health benefits compared to other weight loss diets.

Interestingly, low carb diet also decreases the level of cholesterol in the human body. Here are benefits of low carb diet:

Reduces Appetite

The number one struggle when it comes to dieting is hunger. The good news is low carb diet can decrease your appetite helping you lose weight in the long run. Studies showed people who cut back their carbs intake and focus on protein tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day. When you have less appetite for food, you will lose weight easily because you are able to restrict your caloric intake.

Fat Loss

Low carbohydrate diet leads to fat loss particularly in the abdominal area. Fat distribution in the body varies from one area to another. Abdominal area is rich in visceral fat and as well as the organs. However, this fat can lead to inflammation, disturb metabolic functions and increase insulin resistance. Low carbs diet can help reduce these dysfunctions by reducing the amount of visceral fats in the body. The long term benefits of low carbs are decrease risk of developing Diabetes 2 and heart diseases.

Decrease Triglycerides Level

Triglycerides are fat molecules that can lead to heart diseases. An increase in level in carbohydrates consumption also leads to increase level of triglycerides thus exposing the person to cardiovascular problems. Individuals who cut carbs experience dramatic reduction in triglycerides level.

Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight fast, cutting back your carbohydrates can significantly improve your weight loss. Several studies have shown that people who eat fewer carbohydrates lose weight easily. This is because the body will remove excess water and insulin in the body. When this happen, the kidney will release overload of sodium making you lose weight fast.

Improve Insulin Level

When carbohydrates are broken down in the digestive tract, it will increase the level of glucose in the blood. High blood sugar or sugar spike is dangerous and the body will usually send insulin to deliver these molecules into the cells.

However, people who are suffering from insulin resistance will not be able to reduce the sugar spike that will eventually lead to Diabetes 2. This disorder is not uncommon because there are estimated of 300 million people suffering from Diabetes 2.

One of the best interventions for Diabetes 2 sufferer is to cut down their carbohydrates. Dr. Eric Westman found that 93% of the people affected with Diabetes can reduce their insulin shot within 6 months.

Lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension is another health problem that can be overcome through low carb diet. Controlling your blood pressure means you care protecting your body from stroke, kidney, heart disorders.

What Foods Should You Avoid on a Low Carb Diet?

The reason why people go on a low carb diet is because they want to lose weight. The diet gives faster weight loss result compared to other weight loss diet in the industry.

There are many types of diet that adopts the low carb principles such as the Atkins and South Beach diets. Regardless of name and popularity, you need to find diet that suits your body.When you are planning to start on a low carb diet, here are some foods to avoid:

Starchy Vegetables

Not all vegetables are good for those who are on a low carb diet. Eliminate vegetables that contain high content of carbs such as potatoes, beets and carrots. Potatoes will give you 22 grams of carbohydrates while carrot contains 8 grams.


Losing weight is not just about restricting from unnecessary foods but also establishing a healthy lifestyle. Alcohol hinder the weight loss process because once it enters the body, it will be metabolize first leaving fats behind.It also unnecessary calories and you will have to put on extra effort to shed of those excess pounds.


Nuts are important source of protein and good cholesterol but at the same time contains high content of carbs. Cashews and pistachios have the highest number of carbohydrates content. Even peanut butter has
impressive carbs content.


Sweets and foods that contain sugar are a big no in your low carbohydrates diet. Excess sugar leads to weight gain and you have to eliminate these to protect your weight loss progress. Unused sugar will be converted into fats deposited around the body giving you additional effort and time to lose back. Chocolates, ice cream, syrup, candies and sodas should be avoided.


Grains are part of our healthy food choices but if you are pursuing the low carbs diet, you might need to eliminate certain grains from your meal planning. Pasta, bread, breadcrumbs, cakes and other pastries that are made from flour must be avoided because it contains high level of carbohydrates.


When you are on a low carbohydrate diet, you have to be particular on with what fruits you eat. Just like vegetables, some fruits contain high level of carbohydrates.Grapes, bananas, mangoes and pineapple contain high level of carbohydrates and may ruin your weight loss effort.

What to Eat

Low carb diet is not all about restrictions. When you deny your body from certain types of foods, you need to compensate by increasing your intake on certain types of foods to boost the weight loss effect without
starving yourself. Carbohydrates cravings are normal and shouldn’t be equal to starving. You need to differentiate it well so you can treat your body right.To get through the first of week of low carbohydrates diet, here are some foods that you need to increase:

Increase Fat 

Sounds surprising but yes, you need to increase your fat intake. Consumption of fat will prevent you from feeling hungry. Hunger is the enemy of successful weight loss.The body metabolizes sugar first before fats. However, when there are excess sugars, the body will convert it into fats depositing it around the body.

On the other hand, cutting your carbohydrate intake will force the body to metabolize fats that are stored in the body thus promoting weight loss. Consuming fat will make you feel full longer and no more to hunger pangs.

Increase Fiber

Whatever diet you are in, increasing fiber intake is necessary. Fiber promotes proper digestion, cleanses the colon from toxins and makes you feel full longer.

Choose vegetables and fruits that contains high fiber contains with low carbohydrate level. Just like any weight loss diet, low carbs diet also requires you to do exercise and maintain positive attitude towards weight loss. You will experience some drawbacks, but adjust and do not give up.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Among the popular diets today is the Mediterranean diet. This diet comes from the southern Europe particularly in Crete, Greece and Southern Italy.

The Mediterranean diet started to gain popularity in the 1990s when Dr. Ancel Keys,an American scientist introduced it to the world while he was stationed in Italy.

Interestingly, Mediterranean diet is rich in fat consumption but the occurrence of hypertension, heart problems and obesity are low among the Mediterranean countries.

This is opposite to countries like America and Northern Europe where their diet consists mainly of red meat, animal fats and low in fruits and vegetables. Moreover, countries like Scandinavia, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands adopts the Mediterranean diet and have longer life expectancy compared to English speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand and America.

Mediterranean countries favors wine (which contains flavanoids, another form of antioxidants) while Northern Europe drinks beers.

The Benefits

Based on the article in of Food Technology, people who consumed plant based diets reduce the body risk toward chronic diseases and gene mutation.

Moreover, Mediterranean diet also reduces the susceptibility of stroke among high risk individuals. Another Italian study published in BMJ Open showed that people who are into the diet have better HRQL also known as Health Related Quality of Life. The reason may be from the diet that is rich in fiber and antioxidants.

People who practice Mediterranean diet are protecting their heart from diseases because the diet consists of nuts, vegetables and monosaturated fat that promote healthy heart.

It also prevents the development of Diabetes type 2 in high risk individuals. Interestingly, this diet also promotes brain health because it reduces the occurrence of damaged blood vessels in the brain. Olive oil, a common in ingredient in Mediterranean diet can boost bone strength because the oil promotes the production of serum ostecalins.

The Ingredients

The typical Mediterranean diet usually consists of:

- Beans, cereals and nuts

- Olive oil as their dietary fat

- Modest amount of fish and poultry

- Fresh fruits

- Vegetables

- Cheese and yogurt as their main source of dairy products

- Moderate amount of eggs

- Light amount of wine

- Only 8% of saturated fat

Mediterranean diet only use small amount of saturated fat in their diet and they prefers low, monosaturated fat with high fiber content in the diet.

Their diet also contains plenty of legumes such as peas, lentils, chick peas and alfalfa. The Archives of Internal Medicines also published its findings that legumes can boost glycemic control and reduce coronary heart disease.

For many people in Southern Europe, Mediterranean diet is a way of life. But for those who want to adopt to this diet, planning and establishing good eating habits is important if you want to develop it
into lifelong diet.