Despite all the variety of diets available to try these days, a low carb diet is still among the most popular. Many people say it’s a great way to lose weight, and many eating establishments even make room for low carb diet options in their menu. What is the final verdict on the effectiveness of a low carb diet?
What Is a Low Carb Diet?
A low carb diet is eating foods that are either low in or do not contain any carbohydrates. The main goal is to reduce the intake of carbs enough, so that the body will look for alternative sources of energy to burn.
This brings us to the main idea behind a low carb diet: the human body will start to burn fat when carbohydrates are not available to use as an energy source. Ketosis is the scientific term that describes this phenomenon. Ketosis is when the body uses ketones for energy, which is an energy source created when the liver converts fat into fatty acids. Thus, the ultimate goal of a low carb diet is to keep the body in a state of ketosis.
One diet program that follows this concept is the “Atkins Diet”, named after Dr. Robert C. Atkins. He published his findings on how the human body initiates weight loss as a result of a lower consumption of carbohydrates. His following has increased off of the success of this diet; it has even come to the point that nearly everyone has either heard of or tried it.
Efficacy of a Low Carb Diet
You’d be hard-pressed to find people that would deny that a low carb diet can result in weight loss. Many scientists believe that the diets of our leaner ancient ancestors did not include a lot of carbs, instead relying more on fat and protein. But today we find ourselves consuming a lot of carbs in the form of breads, pastas and sugars. Our bodies work on breaking down carbs while fat is allowed to make a home for itself unabated in our bodies. This high intake of glucose is unhealthy especially for those who are diabetic, making a low carb diet ideal for them.
Many studies have shown that a low carb diet does indeed lead to weight loss. But, what about those opponents of the diet who claim adverse health effects would be suffered by its followers? Many studies have been conducted in this area and while the verdict is not unanimous, most evidence points to low carb diets being healthy. However, it is nearly impossible to strictly reduce your carbohydrate intake forever, therefore, the pounds will return when you introduce carbs back into your diet.
The best way to lose weight is to include all food groups in your diet, just take it easy with the carbs. Make sure your carbohydrate intake comes from healthy carbs like whole grains, fruits and vegetables.