If you are one of the millions of people who are looking into starting a diet you may be wondering if a low carbohydrate or low fat diet is the best. Both styles of diets have their merits as well as some drawbacks and knowing what these are can make all the difference when making your choice.
Regardless of what type of diet you choose, the most important thing to remember is that you need to eat healthy at all times. There are foods that have fat or carbohydrates in them, and you still need both of these nutrients in your body. The trick is getting the right amounts and the right types of each (and not the bad varieties).
Low Carbohydrate Diet
This is a type of diet where you limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat severely. Carbs are a source of energy for the body and, when they are used, they produce a lot of energy to burn for workouts or throughout an active day. However, when carbohydrates are eaten and not used, they turn into sugar which, over time, turns into fat. The main tenant of a low carb diet is controlling the amount of carbs you eat so the body uses other sources of energy, i.e. fat.
While carbs are the primary, and more efficient source or energy, fat is a good substitute especially if you are trying to get rid of it or keep it off. In a low carb diet, any carbs eaten are normally done in the morning to begin a supply of energy for the rest of the day. Proteins are a huge part of a low carb diet, as they are the third source of energy for the body. As your body shifts from carbohydrates to fats for energy, you will enter a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when the body makes the shift mentioned, from carbs to fat for energy.
Low Fat Diet
A low fat diet seems pretty straightforward: don’t eat fat. It’s not that simple however as there are good fats and bad fats:
- Monounsaturated – Good Fat. (nuts, olive oil)
- Polyunsaturated – Good Fat. (salmon, fish oil)
- Unsaturated – Bad Fat. (palm oil, coconut oil)
- Trans Fat – Bad Fat. (fast food, pre-packaged food)
Essentially, eating the right fats in this type of diet is important because some fats actually help lower your cholesterol levels, contain Omega 3 and 6 and can increase the levels of good cholesterol in the body. Low fat diets are also easier to maintain over a long period of time and the results over time tend to point to a low fat diet being more sustainable than a low carb diet.
Low fat diets revolves around a low-fat, high-carb lifestyle and involes being aware of what types of fat you are eating. As long as this type of diet involves all of the four food groups and an avoidance of the bad fats; this is a diet that can be easily maintained for many years with continued positive results.
Which Is Better?
This really depends on you and your discipline levels. If you are looking for quick loss, you may want to go with the low carb diets (but keep in mind the weight will come back when you resume eating carbs). If you are looking for long term and a lifestyle change, the low fat diet tends to be easier to maintain.