If you’re looking for a healthy way to lose weight and improve your mental health, a low carb diet may be the best option for you. A growing number of studies suggest that a low carbohydrate diet is the best way to achieve both goals. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of a low carb diet and explore the science behind it. We’ll also discuss how to use a low carb diet for weight loss and mental health.
What Does “Low Carb” Mean?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of carbs you need to stay in ketosis (if you are on the Ketogenic Diet) will vary depending on your individual circumstances. However, a generally accepted definition of “low carb” is a diet that contains less than 50 grams of net carbs per day. Most low carb enthousiast would argue the carb count would be much lower.
What Are the Benefits of a Low Carb Diet?
A low carb diet can provide a range of benefits, including weight loss, improved mental health, and reduced risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
One of the most well-known benefits of a low carb diet is weight loss. A low carb diet can help you lose weight in two ways: by reducing your overall calorie intake and by helping you burn more fat.
When you eat fewer carbs, your body starts burning stored fat for energy. This leads to a drop in weight and body fat, as well as improved cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. In fact, studies have shown that people who follow a low carb diet are more likely to lose weight than those who follow a traditional low-fat diet.
A low carb diet has also been shown to improve mental health. One study found that a low carb diet improved depression and anxiety more than a Mediterranean diet. Another study found that a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet improved symptoms of bipolar disorder.
In fact a Cambridge University Study concluded that:
There were 141 (85.5%) free-text comments on ketogenic diets that reported a positive impact on mood stabilisation. Reports of significant mood stabilisation or remission of symptoms over a period were substantially higher for a ketogenic diet than for other diets (93/165, 56.4%, 95% CI 48.4–64.1) v. 14/94, 14.9%, 95% CI 8.4–23.7), odds ratio 7.4, 95% CI 3.8–14.1, P < 0.0001), many with detailed reports of the improvements experienced and several lasting for extended periods (months to years). Other reported associations included fewer episodes of depression (in 41.2%, 95% CI 30.6–52.4 of individuals); improved clarity of thought and speech (28.2%, 95% CI 19.0–39.0); increased energy (25.9, 95% CI 17.0–36.5); and weight loss (25.9%, 95% CI 17.0–36.5).
Reduced Risk of Disease
Among the many benefits of a low carb diet, following a low carb diet can also help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A large review of studies found that people who followed a fasting protocol and/or a low carb diet had a lower risk of dying from all causes, including heart disease and cancer.
Low Carb Diet And Pancreatic Health
There is some evidence that a low carb diet may be beneficial for people with pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. One study found that a ketogenic diet helped improve symptoms of pancreatitis. Another study found that a low carbohydrate diet was associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer.
A low carb diet can provide a range of benefits for heart health, including weight loss, reduced cholesterol levels, and improved blood sugar levels. In fact, studies have shown that people who follow a low carb diet are more likely to have a healthy heart than those who follow a traditional low-fat diet.
There are a few reasons why a low carb diet may be good for your heart. First, when you eat fewer carbs, your body starts burning stored fat for energy. This can lead to weight loss and improved cholesterol levels. Second, a low carb diet can help improve blood sugar levels. Higher blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Improved Triglyceride and Lipid Profiles
One of the best things about following a low carbohydrate diet is that it may help improve your cholesterol profile. While on this type of plan, you could also see an increase in good heart-related hormones like HDL (“good” Cholesterols) and lower bad stuff such as triglycerides.
High-carbohydrate diets, particularly those high in simple sugar fructose have been shown to increase people’s levels of triglycerides. If you are able reduce your carbohydrate consumption this may help enjoy a dramatic drop in the amount that isrounded up into harmful LDL molecules and sent off floating around our bodies – leaving us with more good cholesterol.
By following a low carbohydrate diet and improving your cholesterol profiles, you can do wonders for the long-term health of not only yourself but also those who love to live with or near someone suffering from cardiovascular disease.
How to Use a Low Carb Diet for Weight Loss
If you’re interested in using a low carb diet for weight loss or mental health, there are many resources available to help you get started. There are many books and websites devoted to the topic, and there are also a number of online communities where you can find support and advice from other people following a low carb diet.
If you’re just starting out, it’s best to begin with a moderate low carb diet and gradually reduce your carbohydrate intake over time. This will help you avoid feeling deprived and will allow you to stick with the diet long-term. Once you’re comfortable with a moderate low carb diet, you can experiment with more restrictive diets, such as the ketogenic diet, if you wish.
No matter what approach you take, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new diet, especially if you have any health conditions.
Foods To Avoid On A Low Carb Diet
There are a few foods that you’ll want to avoid on a low carb diet. These include high-carbohydrate foods like bread, pasta, and cereal, as well as sugary foods and drinks.
It’s also important to avoid eating too many unhealthy fats. Foods that are high in unhealthy fats include processed meats, hydrogenated oils, and saturated fats.
Instead, focus on eating healthy, unprocessed foods like vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs. These are all low in carbs and high in nutrients.
Carbs and Cravings
When you eat a carbohydrate-rich food, your body releases insulin in response. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body store energy from food. When insulin levels are high, it can cause cravings for more carbohydrates. This is because the body is trying to get more energy by eating more carbs.
Eating a low carb diet can help keep your insulin levels stable, which can help reduce cravings for carb-rich foods. Additionally, following a low carb diet can help improve your mental health by stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
Top Low Carb Satiating Foods
When following a low carb diet, it’s important to include plenty of healthy, satiating foods. These are foods that will help you feel full and satisfied, and will help you stick to your diet in the long-term.
Some of the best low carb foods for satiety include protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and eggs, as well as healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. Vegetables are also a good choice, especially those that are high in fiber like broccoli and cauliflower.
If you’re looking for a snack or a quick meal, try incorporating some of these satiating low carb foods into your diet. You’ll be surprised at how filling they can be.