I just read an article written in January 2014 reviewing studies of low carb diets. Because of the Atkins criticism through the years I have some hesitation and/or concerns. So, I decided to research for myself and put my mind at ease or safeguard my health and quit the diet. This is what I learned from the article.
1. First, the studies have consistently shown that people eating low carb, and in ketosis, eat fewer calories. In these studies the researchers had to restrict calories of low fat dieters to compare results. The low carb dieters ate less naturally, because they weren't hungry.
2. Even when researchers restrict calories for low fat dieters the low carb dieters lose more weight. But, and this is key, after about 6 months the weight loss starts to creep back on. This is because dieters start adding foods from their previous diet. I have read MRC posts on 3FC from the past and one thing that is said over and over is that seeing MRC through maintenance (1 year) is one of the biggest indicators of whether, or not, we keep the weight off.
3. Low carb/ketogenic diets lead to a higher loss of visceral belly fat (the fat coating our organs). This isn't just for cosmetics because losing visceral fat helps prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
4. Low-carb diets are very effective at lowering blood triglycerides, which are fat molecules in the blood and a well known risk factor for heart disease.
5. Studies show that eating fat helps increase "good cholesterol". MCR doesn't allow a lot of fat. They do require EFA's so hopefully we, at MCR, will get enough fat to get this benefit.
6. Low carb/ketogenic diets reduce blood sugar. This article says that blood sugars are toxic. I have never heard that before. I know we need some blood sugar. Anyway, the article points out that low carb diets keep insulin from spiking and causing insulin resistance and diabetes. For me, personally, I am hopeful that this diet will rid me of candida.
7. Studies show that reducing carbs leads to a significant reduction in blood pressure, which should lead to a reduced risk of many common diseases.
8. Low carb diets eliminate metabolic syndrome. The symptoms are: Abdominal obesity, Elevated blood pressure, Elevated fasting blood sugar levels, High triglycerides, Low HDL levels. These symptoms have already been mentioned above.
9. Scientists have now learned is that the type of LDL matters. Not all of them are equal. In this regard, the size of the particles is important. Small particles are associated with a high risk of heart disease and large particles are more benign. When you eat a low-carb diet, your LDL particles change from small to large particles. Cutting carbs may also reduce the number of LDL particles floating around in the bloodstream.
10. Very low-carb/ketogenic diets are now being studied for other brain disorders as well, including Alzheimerís disease and Parkinsonís disease. This is particularly interesting to me. My Grandma has 6 sisters and 2 brothers. Each and every one of them got alzeimers with the exception to the brothers got dementia according to their families. That is terrifying.
So, what has your experience been with low carb diets??