Low-carb diets seem to be all the rage recently. It seems like they’re always in the news and a topic of conversation. Do they work? What are their benefits? And how can you follow one without feeling deprived?
Here is what you should know about the benefits of a low-carb diet for health and weight loss. If it sounds like it can work for you, ask your doctor for the go-ahead before starting one. Be sure to check out Netrition for all kinds of snacks, vitamins, and other products that can make a low-carb diet more fun and support nutrition on a low-carb diet.
Faster Weight Loss
When you start a low-carb diet, you’re likely to lose weight fairly quickly. The initial reduction in weight is from the loss of water and it can be very encouraging. But the weight loss may continue. Studies have shown that following low-carb diets can help you lose weight as fast as, or faster than, following low-fat diets. That’s likely to hold true for several months.
How does a low-carb diet help you lose weight? Part of it is that it shifts the balance of water in your body. When you stop eating so many carbs, your body takes some of your stored carbs and uses them for energy. At the same time, your body loses some of the water that helped store those carbs. That leads to a lower number on the scale.
Weight Loss without Calorie Counting
Losing weight with a low-carb diet goes back to the concept of calorie balance, but it doesn’t involve strict calorie counting, which can be boring or cumbersome. When you reduce your calorie intake compared to your calorie expenditure, or the amount of calories that you burn, you’ll lose weight.
On a low-carb diet, you exclude or limit high-carb foods such as potatoes, bread, pasta, and desserts. Those also happen to be high-calorie foods. Limiting these foods - as well as sugar-sweetened, high-calorie beverages such as soda and sports drinks - can help you limit your calorie intake without counting calories.
Weight Loss with Less Hunger
Are you someone who dreads going on diets because you know you’ll be starving and you hate that feeling? If so, then a low-carb diet may be for you (assuming your doctor agrees). Here’s why.
Carbohydrates are fast to digest. They can spike your blood sugar quickly. After the spike, your blood sugar can bottom out to low levels. When your blood sugar drops, you can feel hungry, even if it’s not time for your next meal or snack.
In contrast, protein and fat are slower to digest. These are the nutrients that you increase when you go on a low-carb diet. They don’t let your stomach empty as quickly, and they don’t spike your blood sugar as quickly. They also don’t let your blood sugar levels drop as fast. That means you’re not as hungry.
Something as simple as switching a high-carb food for a high-protein alternative can help. For example, you can have Protein Cereal or Protein Chips instead of regular grain-based cereal or corn-based tortilla chips.
Reduction in Sugar Cravings
There’s another benefit to having less of a blood sugar spike and drop. Your sugar cravings may decrease, leaving you less likely to hit the vending machine for an afternoon candy bar, or the freezer for a late-night bowl of ice cream.
If you still crave sweets on a low-carb diet, you can always go to Netrition to satisfy your sweet tooth without guilt. Sugar-Free Chocolates and Candy, and Keto-Friendly Cake Mix, are just a few examples of our many options.
Lower Blood Sugar or Better Blood Sugar Control
A high-sugar diet can increase the risk for prediabetes and diabetes. So can a diet high in refined starches, such as white bread and rice, white crackers, and pasta. A low-carb diet can lower blood sugar swings and reduce the amount of insulin you ask your body to produce. The result can be a lower risk for developing diabetes.
Don’t worry if you’re afraid you’ll want sweets or carbs. We have whatever you need in low-carb or sugar-free versions, such as Sugar-Free Syrups so you can enjoy Protein Pancakes and homemade coffee beverages, without fear of blood sugar spikes.
Improved Metabolic Factors and Blood Lipids
Blood sugar isn’t the only part of health that low-carb diets can affect. They may also help with other factors. When you’re overweight, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure and high “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as low “good” HDL cholesterol.
When you lose weight on a low-carb diet, part of that weight is likely to come from abdominal fat. That’s not just important because fat loss is the goal. It’s also important because abdominal fat, or belly fat, is a factor in causing unhealthy blood lipid levels. When you lose some weight, the factors can improve.
Great-Tasting Foods on Your Meal Plan
Did you know that one of the benefits of a low-carb diet is that you get to eat great-tasting foods? And, you can develop a meal plan that’s convenient and easy to prepare so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.
If there are any foods you think you might miss on a low-carb diet, think again! For any high-carb food you love, there’s sure to be a low-carb swap for it. Here are a few examples.
There’s been a lot of research into the benefits of a low-carb diet, and it may help with weight loss and blood sugar control. If you decide you’re interested, ask your doctor, and then get excited - because it’s time to stock up on great-tasting and convenient foods at Netrition! We’re here to help you reach your goals.