Ask: Do low carb diets really work?

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Question : Do low carb diets really work?

A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates such as those found in grains, starchy vegetables and fruits and emphasizes food high in protein and fat. Atkins is the most famous low-carb diet that encourages eating cheese, steak and full fat dairy with the complete elimination of bread, pasta, cereal and other forms of carbs.

Low-carb diets are generally used for weight-loss and have been linked to the reduction of risks associated with diabetes.

The reason low-carb diets have proven successful is that less carbs lowers insulin levels, which cause the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately leads to weight loss. Less carbs means stable blood sugar levels and ensures you’re not feeling the effects of carb overload like fatigue and cravings.

A daily limit of 60 to 150 grams of carbs is recommended. Extreme low-carb diets restrict consumption to less than 60 grams per day.

It’s important to differentiate between whole foods and processed foods when eating low-carb. Eating processed foods can sabotage your weight loss goals even if you’re eating low-carb. Examples of processed foods include meal replacement bars and shakes, ice cream and ice cream sandwiches, and other low-carb, sugar-free snacks that are sold in most grocery stores. A fresh avocado is great, but guacamole from the snacks aisle is going to contain starch, sugars, sodium and other fats that are not helping you. Eating fresh, whole foods is always the best choice.

Crave carbs like bread, cookies and cereal? Some low-carb diets restrict carbs altogether at the beginning and then gradually reintroduce them back into the diet. Research has found that people who eliminate carbs altogether and then reintroduce them back into their diet slowly and consciously are able to better manage cravings in the long term. It’s important to notice how much more energy you have without the sugary starchy foods in your diet. The choice will be obvious.

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