Things to know about the Low carbohydrate diet.
Things to know about the Low carbohydrate diet.

With a low carbohydrate diet, you eat fewer carbohydrates than recommended. Some low-carbohydrate diets are aimed at improving blood sugar levels. Others are meant to lose weight or based on the idea that it would be healthier to avoid certain carbohydrate products. 

There are pros and cons to a low-carbohydrate diet. An advantage is that these diets are often also rich in proteins, and eating enough protein during weight loss can ensure that more muscle mass is retained. A disadvantage is that many low-carbohydrate diets often provide a lot of (saturated) fat and not enough healthy dietary fiber. 


A low carbohydrate diet or 'low carbohydrate high fat diet' is a diet that allows you to get relatively much energy from proteins and fat and little energy from carbohydrates. A low carbohydrate diet provides 50 to a maximum of 150 grams of carbohydrates per day. We speak of a ketogenic diet if you take 20 to a maximum of 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, which is extremely low.

An average adult woman eats approximately 225 grams of carbohydrates per day. That is a normal amount. The Health Council recommends that those who want to eat healthily get 40 to 70% of their energy from carbohydrates. For the average adult woman, that amounts to approximately 200 to 350 grams per day.

What is the purpose of a low-carbohydrate diet?

Some low-carbohydrate diets are aimed at improving blood sugar levels. For people with type 2 diabetes, such a diet under the supervision of a dietician may be useful. Sometimes a low-carbohydrate diet causes people to lose weight if they consume fewer calories than before the diet. Losing weight has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity for people with overweight diabetes. 

Health effects

Can you lose weight with a low carbohydrate diet?

Any type of diet in which you consume less energy than you use will cause weight loss. This also applies to a low carbohydrate diet where you take fewer calories than before. But if you get the same amount of calories, a diet low in carbohydrates will not cause more weight loss than a diet high in carbohydrates.

What are the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet?

A diet low in carbohydrates is often rich in protein. A low-carbohydrate diet rich in proteins can give you a feeling of satiety for longer. So you have the feeling that you are full for longer. Furthermore, proteins are important for building your muscles. Eating enough protein during weight loss can ensure that more muscle mass is retained. 

What are the disadvantages of a low-carbohydrate diet?

Disadvantages of a low carbohydrate diet can be:

  • Low carbohydrate diets are often also rich in fats. Diets that are high in fat are often (too) high in saturated fat. Because of the risk of cardiovascular disease, the Health Council recommends replacing products with saturated fat as much as possible with products with unsaturated fat. The guidelines of the Nutrition Center are in line with this. 

  • Carbohydrate-rich products such as wholemeal bread and cereal products, fruit, and legumes can reduce the risk of certain heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. In addition, these foods contain B vitamins, dietary fiber, and important minerals such as iron, magnesium, chromium, and zinc. With a low carbohydrate diet where you avoid these products, you run a greater risk of shortages of these nutrients. You also miss out on the health gain attributed to these products.

  • Many people do not maintain a waste diet for long because it is too strict, too one-sided, or too impractical. Moreover, weight loss is usually not permanent because no permanent healthy lifestyle has been taught.

Low carb Keto diet Products in (diet with very few carbohydrates) With a ketogenic diet, you eat extremely little carbohydrates, namely 20 to a maximum of 50 grams per day.

The carbohydrates that you eat are converted to glucose in your body. Glucose gives your cells the energy you need to move and breathe, for example. Glucose is stored in your liver as glycogen.

Normally, the liver releases glucose into the blood as the glucose level in your blood drops. But if you do not eat enough glucose, little glycogen is stored in your liver, and this is not possible. This ensures that there is little glucose in the blood. The body notices this and switches to fatty acid burning. Burning fatty acids results in 'ketones' or 'ketone bodies.' Ketones can be used by the brain, muscles, and nervous system instead of glucose. Ketones make the blood more acidic. The body comes in 'ketosis' by following a ketogenic diet. Although in healthy people, the body is well able to maintain the acidity of the blood, insufficient research has been done into the health effects of ketosis in the long term. 

The ketogenic diet is often more difficult to maintain than a low-carbohydrate diet. 

Read More: Health Benefits of the banting method.

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