Low Carb Diet versus High Carb: Which is Better?

Consuming a low carb diet with increased fat intake is currently one of the biggest trends in the health today.

Conversely, many nutritionists and doctors do not recommend a low carbohydrate diet and promote a high-carb one instead. Until recent years, mainstream health organizations and health professionals believed that increasing fat in any diet lead to health problems, primarily heart disease. They recommended cutting fat intake to less than 30 percent of your daily caloric intake.

Today, an increasing number of studies are challenging the low fat, high carb diet approach. Many modern health organizations believe that increasing fat and protein consumption and reducing carbohydrates is a better option for treating obesity and other chronic conditions. However, there are still uncertainties about the long-term effects of low carb, high fat diets. Moreover, some dieters function best by consuming greater amounts of carbohydrates than fats. Use this article to explore the two diet approaches to determine which option will benefit you most.

Low Carb Diet

A low carb diet limits your carbohydrate intake. One popular form of this type of eating plan is referred to as the keto diet, which greatly reducing the intake of carbs. This kind of diet works by limiting the amount of energy the body uses from sugars. Instead, the body is forced to use stored fat for energy in a low carb, high fat diet, thus resulting in fat and weight loss.

Carbohydrates are a macronutrient found in many foods and beverages. Carbs can be either simple or complex. The complexity of a carbohydrate determines how quickly your body will digest it and convert it to glucose. Examples of carbohydrates food include:

  • Vegetables.
  • Fruit.
  • Milk.
  • Nuts.
  • Legumes.
  • Grains.
  • Starches.

A diet with foods low in carbs pushes you to focus more on your intake of healthy fats and protein. It is used generally for losing weight, but it may result in other benefits as well. For instance, this type of eating plan may be helpful for treating or preventing Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This is because such a strategy reduces the amount of glucose in the body, which means less insulin is required to control blood sugar.

You may choose a low carbohydrate diet to assist you in losing weight or changing your overall eating habits. However, consulting with your doctor before starting a low-carb diet may help protect you against low carb diet side effects. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions like heart disease or diabetes. If you have a metabolic condition or Type 1 diabetes, a low-carb diet may be risky for your health.

Typically, a low carb diet spotlights protein sources like meat, fish, poultry and eggs in addition to healthy fats. It generally excludes breads, pasta, grains, legumes and some fruits. Followers of this diet typically cut out foods like pasta, cake, candy, cookies and bread. However, they may recreate some common carb-heavy recipes with alternative, low carb diet foods. Followers claim that the increase in protein and fat helps to keep you full longer, causing them to eat less overall.

High Carb Diet

A high carb diet focuses on an increased consumption of healthy carbohydrates and lower intake of fats. Such a diet involves eating foods from a list of good carbs rather than refined ones. This kind of diet aims to reduce total caloric intake and amount of fat.

Because of the popularity of the low carbohydrate diet, many residents who are on a weight-loss journey fear that eating carbs will hinder their progress. However, this is not true according to many nutritionists and researchers. Healthy high carb foods will not cause weight gain nor prevent weight loss. In fact, many studies indicate that an increase in the consumption of whole grains and vegetables and a decrease in fats helps residents to lose weight and keep it off in the long term.

Furthermore, while a diet with high carb meals requires that you eat fewer fats, you must still ensure that you consume the right fats. Some popular low-fat sources include low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, skim milk and tuna in water. However, you are still encouraged to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, flaxseed and walnuts.

The standard low fat, high carbohydrate diet recommends that less than 30 percent of your daily calories come from fat. The main justification for this is that fat provides a higher number of calories per gram compared to other nutrients like carbs and protein. Studies have been conducted showing the relationship between a reduction calories and fat intake and increased weight loss.

Moreover, many studies have found a relationship between a low carb high fat diet and heart diseases such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. While this research focused on the intake of saturated fats, the results still indicated that decreasing “bad” fats in your diet can greatly support the health of your heart. Thus, a low fat, high carb diet may greatly help you in losing weight and support overall health.

Related Article: Common Reasons for Weight Loss Failure

The Verdict

The best diet for you is the one you can stick with. Neither a low carb diet nor a high carb one will be effective if you cannot stick to it or easily incorporate it into your lifestyle. You must be willing to tailor each diet to fit your individual needs. A test run of each diet could help determine which strategy works best for you.

Unless you are at risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you do not need to follow a keto diet for your health. However, some people find it useful in quelling cravings and staying full for longer periods of time. Both a high and low carbohydrate diet will have different effects on insulin, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Changing the way you eat can have long-term impact on your health, regardless of which eating plan you decide to follow.

Many nutritional experts state that it is most important to focus on improving the quality of your diet, rather than worrying about your intake of low carb diet foods or total fat. A good way to improve the quality of your diet is to incorporate more whole foods and healthy fats into your meals. Your body adapts and changes depending on the eating plan that you test and follow. It is important to monitor your body while on any diet to determine its effects on you. Additionally, you must have a strategy for maintaining healthy eating habits once you stop following any diet that you take on.

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