A low-carb diet looks towards eating natural fats, proteins and vegetables while at the same time to decrease or eliminate the intake of bread, grains, rice, processed carbohydrates, sugar sweetened beverages, pasta and starchy root vegetables. Low carb diets do not restrict the intake of proteins but it is recommended that you eat what is reasonably enough.
There are many variations of low carb diets out there. However, they are divided into categories that dictate a number of carbohydrates that should be taken in a day. Here are the three main categories:
- Strict diet: The intake of 0-20 grams daily
- Moderate diet: Intake of 20-50 grams a day
- Liberal diet: The intake of 50-100 grams daily
Why reduce carbohydrates?
Unfortunately, the average diet contains over 50 percent of the food as carbohydrates. This means for an average person who takes a 2000-calorie diet 1000 calories will come from the carbohydrates. If this is divided further, one gram of carbohydrates has around four calories. It means for 1000 calories; the person will have taken 250 grams of carbohydrates. Many people take higher amounts than this.
Among the three main macronutrients in the food that include carbohydrates, fat, and protein, the ingestion of carbs induces the secretions of the highest amounts of insulin.
The body breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars that are then transported around the body for use as energy. The insulin instructs the body to convert the excess glucose into fat and store it in the adipose tissue. The carbohydrates also provide the highest amounts of glucose to the body.
If the amount of carbohydrate intake is lowered, there is little insulin that is secreted in the body. This decreases the amount of fat that is stored in the adipose layer. On the other hand, lowering carbohydrates also increase the utilization of the stored fats, which leads to weight loss. The onset of some diseases such as type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and hypertension is largely slowed down.
‘Convenience’ foods are high in carbs
Most of the fast foods, snacks, as well as quick preparation foods are high in starch, processed sugars, and salt. These foods take a large part of the daily American diet. Fortunately, you can replace the diets with low carb and fiber rich vegetables such as the greens.
People with type 2 diabetes need stricter restrictions on carb intake than those who are just overweight. Seek medical advice if you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes so that you eat what is enough and better manage the insulin resistance.