A low carb diet is a meal plan that restricts the number of carbohydrates an individual can consume per day. Low carb diets range in their recommendations from very restrictive diets that only allow a very limited amount of foods to other diets that recommend dieters avoid eating particular foods that are high in starches and sugars.
The science behind a low carb diet is that there are two types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Examples of simple carbohydrates are the natural sugars found in fruits and table sugar. Examples of complex carbohydrates are the natural sugars found in vegetables, grains and legumes. When the body breaks down complex carbohydrates, it breaks them down into simple sugars or glucose. Glucose is the body’s primary source for energy. The body requires glucose to stabilize your blood sugar.
Benefits of a Low Carb Diet
By cutting down on your carbohydrates, in addition to losing weight, you will be able to improve several health problems. Several low carbohydrate diets have shown to help individuals lower their LDL (unhealthy cholesterol levels) and raise their HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
If you are glucose intolerant or diabetic, trimming carbohydrates from your diet will help you stabilize your blood sugar levels. This is because fewer processed carbohydrates means less insulin in your blood stream.
By following a low carbohydrate diet, individuals have shown to put their body into ketosis, which is when the body begins to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. This will help individuals lose weight. Low carbohydrate diets have shown to lead to steady and fast weight loss.
Benefits of a Low Fat Diet
A low fat diet is one that limits the amounts of fats an individual can consume per day. This type of diet often stresses the consumption of vegetables, fruits and low fat carbohydrates.
The science behind a low fat diet is that out of all the nutrients that create calories, fat grams are the most calorically dense. By cutting out fat, dieters should naturally reduce the number of calories they consume. By consuming fewer calories than you burn a day, an individual should lose weight.
According to the Harvard School of Public Healthy, a diet that is stresses a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and moderate or low intake of dairy products, nuts and meats has shown to lower the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Low fat diets have shown to lead to slow but steady weight loss.
Low Carb vs. Low Fat Diet
In a study conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, dieters who followed a low carbohydrate diet lost more weight compared to dieters who followed a low fat diet by nearly five additional pounds.
The reason that people believe a low carbohydrate diet is more effective in weight loss is because a individuals on a low carbohydrate diet are often more satisfied and feel fuller than those on a low fat diet. Individuals on a low fat diet often feel hungry, making it difficult for them to stick to this diet long term.