Low carb diets are defined by the low consume of carbohydrates. These are specific to programs designed for weight management and advanced weight loss in obesity cases. The major dietary switch consists in the elimination or reduction of carbohydrates, and their replacement with foods that speed up the metabolism. Green leafy vegs, some fruits, meat and soy are low in carbohydrates and therefore ideal for low carb diets.
One of the most popular of all low carb diets is the Atkins diet, introduced back in the 70s and enjoying an immense level of success worldwide. Besides weight loss, there are some medical applications to low carb diets; thus, they are recommended in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes and epilepsy. Carbohydrates serve for most people as a primary source of energy, and their limitation in diet should be followed by a quick replacement with some other valuable type of food.
The scientific support for low carb diets is the fact that they trigger a reduction in the secretion of insulin. This hormone hinders the fat breakdown process in the body, making the system get energy from sugar. With a lower carb intake, the insulin level should drop too, which would create the right premises for more fat to be burned during metabolic reactions. However, this theory is still under study, which makes low carb diets debatable in terms of efficiency and safety.
The disadvantage of low carb diets lies in their very restrictive nature. It is not such a big deal that you cut on bread and pasta, but the problem results from the fact that you also reduce the consume of grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, grains and beans. The focus falls on meat, eggs, fish, poultry and non-starchy vegetables. There are some low carb diets that allow the consume of whole grains, vegetables and fruits if the maximum carbohydrate intake is not higher than 150g. For some people, such strict rules could be hard to meet.
Many books published after the 90s deal with low carb diets. Low carb diets are in fact among the most popular in the United States, but the concept of such programs has spread extensively in many other parts of the world. Despite popularity, opinions remain divided in relation to the benefits of a very low carb intake.
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