With the increasing trend of obesity in the Philippines, different diet plans have been hyped up. One of the most popular nowadays is the low-carb diet.
While there are many types of this eating pattern, from Atkins to Paleo to Ketogenic to whatever name you want to call your eating plan, it all boils down to cutting back on carbs and sugars resulting in weight loss and a more stable blood sugar level.
What is Low-Carb?
A low-carb diet is a diet that limits or restricts foods that are high in carbohydrates. This includes bread and grains, some fruits, pasta, cereal, beer, etc.
Low-carb diet has been around for over a century for medical purposes but has since been controversial. It is based on the premise that carbohydrate restriction results in weight loss.
How does it work?
Basically, people cut out carbohydrates and sugar from their diet while increasing protein and fat intake.
Decreasing carbs intake lowers a person’s insulin levels, which then causes the body to burn stored fat for energy instead and ultimately lead to weight loss.
- Weight loss. This is the main benefit and reason of people caving into a low-carb diet. A low-carb way of eating produces fast weight loss without the need to count calories and fewer cravings.
- Lower sugar levels. Cutting back on sugar essentially improves one’s health with lower blood sugar levels on their bodies.
- Combats PCOS. Studies show that women with PCOS who follow a low-carb high-fat diet were able to balance their levels of insulin and testosterone.
- Appetite suppression. Carbs spike insulin which leads to food cravings. Fewer carbs, fewer food cravings.
- Healthy gut. The low-carb diet reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating and cramps.
- Sub-optimal intake of vitamins. Since carbohydrates are found in different types of foods with vitamins and minerals, people will avoid or limit the intake of these foods, which will then cause possible nutrient deficiencies.
- Muscle loss. This is common as the body uses protein for fuel.
- Lethargy and bad breath. This happens during the first few weeks of the diet. If these persist, it may be a sign of too low blood sugar levels.
At the end of the day, a low-carb diet has its pros and cons. Choosing a diet will depend on your personal goals, health, and lifestyle. It is still best to reach out to your doctor to know and guide you on what diet would best suit you.
If you think this is something that might drastically change your health in a good way, do your research and consult with a professional.
DISCLAIMER: While a low-carb diet has many proven benefits, the information provided in this article is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional.