There are polarizing opinions and mixed feelings when it comes to low-carb diets, specifically ketogenic diets. Some people believe that these diets increase cholesterol level and cause heart disease due to their high-fat content.
However, many scientific studies have proven that low-carb diets are healthy and provide a range of benefits. In addition to weight loss, a low-carb diet also improves many risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol. Listed down below are some of the best health benefits of low-carb and keto diets:
1. Low-Carb Diets Curb Your Appetite
When trying to lose weight, you may feel hungry all the time. This is why many people want to give up their diet altogether. With a low-carb diet, however, your appetite will be better controlled, and you will feel less miserable. When you can successfully reduce carbs intake and consume more protein and fat, you also consume fewer calories, leading to weight loss.
2. Low-Carb Diets Lead to Rapid and More Weight Loss
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to cut carbs. Studies show that people who eat low-carb diets lose weight faster and more than those on low-fat diets who are also actively limiting calories.
This can be due to the fact that low-carb diets can remove excess water from the body, reducing insulin levels, which leads to weight loss in the first few weeks. A study in obese adults showed that a low-carb diet is most effective up to six months as opposed to an ordinary weight loss diet. Note that the difference in the amount of weight loss between low-carb and low-fat diets became insignificant after that.
3. Low-Fat Diets Reduce Fat in the Abdominal Cavity
There are two main types of fat in the body, including subcutaneous fat (under your skin) and visceral fat (accumulates in the abdominal cavity), which is common among overweight men. Visceral fat tends to be stored around a number of your organs, which is why it is often linked with inflammation and insulin resistance.
Excess visceral fat can also cause metabolic dysfunction. Fortunately, it has been found that many fat people on low-carb diets lose a large proportion of fat in the abdominal cavity. Therefore, if you want to minimize your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, you can start by eating a low-carb diet.
4. Low-Fat Diets Lower Triglycerides
Triglycerides refer to fat molecules that float around in your bloodstream. High triglycerides are one of the leading causes of heart disease. In sedentary people, carb consumption, particularly simple sugar fructose, is the culprit for elevated triglycerides. By cutting carbs, the level of triglycerides in your bloodstream will significantly drop.
5. Low-Fat Diets Raise “Good” HDL Cholesterol Levels
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the “good” cholesterol. The high levels of HDL can reduce the risk of heart disease. In order to raise HDL levels, you should eat more healthy fat. As low-carb diets include plenty of fat, your HDL levels will significantly increase as a result.
6. Low-Fat Diets Lower Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
Ketogenic diets can be very beneficial for those with diabetes and insulin resistance. Lower intake of carbs can dramatically reduce both blood sugar and insulin levels. Many people with diabetes may have to cut their insulin dosage by 50% once they start a low-carb diet. That being said, you should consult with your doctor before adopting a low-carb diet, especially if you take blood sugar medication.