No Carb Diet: Is it really effective?

Diet plans are centered only on weight loss, which is not always true. Diets can be used to inculcate better eating habits and lead a healthy life. Diets can regulate your health and nutritional requirements. Different diet plans dedicated to certain medical conditions can be effective in controlling them. One such popular diet plan is the No Carb Diet. Let us dig a bit more about it in this blog.

What is a no carb diet?

No Carb Diet: Is it really effective?

Carbohydrates, commonly referred to as carbs, are macronutrients required by the body to provide fuel. The carbs are digested by the body and broken down into glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is further absorbed by the body and used as a source of energy. Hence, we can conclude that carbohydrates are used mainly for the energy requirements of the body. 

The daily intake of carbs depends on different factors like gender, age, weight, and medical conditions. Some of the sources of carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurt, etc. A no carb diet restricts the consumption of carbohydrates in a diet. As the name suggests, low-carb diets include almost no carb intake. 

In a low-carb diet, the proportion of protein and fats dominates the number of carbohydrates consumed. It can be called a low-carb diet; only the difference is that it is more strict than a low-carb diet. No carb diets are very popular for controlling weight gain. Sometimes people prefer low-carb diets to improve their eating habits. 

No carb or low-carb diets are beneficial for people with medical conditions like type-2 diabetes. Metabolic syndromes can also be included as one of the reasons why no-carb diet plans are inculcated in eating habits. Let us understand no carb diet plans in detail in the coming section.

How do no carb diets work?

No Carb Diet: Is it really effective?

We all know that carbohydrates are used for deriving energy. Carbohydrates can be categorized as simple natural carbs (fructose obtained from fruits, lactose in milk), simple, refined carbs (table sugar, syrups), complex natural carbs (whole grains), and complex, refined carbs (degermed cornmeal and white flour.) 

Simple carbs are easier to digest as compared to complex carbs. Complex carbs are converted to their simpler forms, which are mainly glucose. This glucose is released into the bloodstream and used as a source of energy. Extra glucose is either converted to fats or stored in the body (liver and muscles.)

Low-carb diets (including a no-carb diet) generally contain about 26% fewer calories obtained from carbs than the daily requirements (which is 2000 calories for females and 2500 for males.) If we consider a no-carb diet, it drops it more as it restricts carb consumption significantly. 

Some of the popular low-carb diets are the ketogenic diet, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Paleo diet, and Dukan diet. Different low-carb diet plans permit different amounts of carb consumption. But how does low or no carb consumption affect weight management?

No-carb diets trigger a biological phenomenon called KETOSIS. Our bodies, under normal conditions, derive energy from the breakdown of carbohydrates. Restricted carbs in no-carb diet plans also facilitate the breakdown of stored carbs in different organs like the liver and muscles.

But when the body is deprived of carbohydrates, like as a result of a no-carb diet, energy is obtained from the metabolism of fat rather than carbohydrates. Hence, people following a no-carb diet plan observe rapid weight loss. The question arises here, is a no-carb diet really effective?

When compared with a low-fat diet, a no-carb diet shows better results for short-term weight loss. Lower intake of carbohydrates is the primary reason, but other factors too contribute to rapid weight loss caused by a no-carb diet. A high protein and fat diet cause a reduction in appetite, making you feel full for longer periods. No-carb diets also promote a reduction in insulin levels in the body. 

Insulin is essential for removing glucose from the bloodstream and allowing it to enter the cells. Insulin promotes the production of fat and limits its burning. This can be counted as another reason for the weight loss. No-carb diets are effective in short-term weight loss also because they promote loss of water weight. This also concludes that low-carb diets are extremely beneficial for shredding fat mass.

Health benefits of a no-carb diet

The controversies existing for no-carb diets are well known. But to our relief, various scientific pieces of research have shown us to be in favor of no-carb diets. Here are some of the health benefits that a no-carb diet has to offer. 

1. Rapid weight loss

No Carb Diet: Is it really effective?

A No-carb diet promotes weight loss. This is because the intake of carbs is reduced. No carb diet has been showing faster results than low-fat diets. The reduced intake of calories promotes weight loss in a no-carb diet. The main reason why a no-carb diet enhances weight loss is due to the loss of water weight. Let us understand the reason behind it. 

One gram of carbs contains approximately 3 grams of water. No carb diet has been effective in losing weight, but it is not advised to completely cut off carbs from your diet. A no-carb diet may not promote weight management in the long run. 

2. No carb diets: Rich in proteins

When the two diets are considered, i.e., no carb diet and a low-fat diet, no carb diet allows a larger intake of proteins than the latter one. The reason can be conferred to the replacement of food like grains and bread (which is low in protein) with protein-rich foods like meat and eggs. 

Various studies support that no carb diet results in reduced appetite. It also helps in increasing muscle mass. Another benefit of a protein-rich diet is enhanced metabolism.

3. Fat loss

Fat accumulated in regions of your abdomen, called visceral fat, has harmful effects on our health. It is associated with metabolic disorders and can lead to type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Specifically, in women, it is linked with breast cancer and gallbladder-related troubles. 

Abdominal fat also is associated with inflammation-causing proteins and inflammation. One of the benefits of no carb diet is that it helps in losing visceral fat. No-carb diets can effectively help in losing harmful abdominal fat. 

4. Other Benefits

No-carb diets can also cause a decline in triglycerides. These biological molecules, in excess, are responsible for increased risks for heart-related diseases. No-carb diets are also beneficial for people with diabetes and insulin resistance. No-carb diets can drastically affect insulin levels beneficially in such medical conditions. These diets can also control the blood pressure in people having hypertension. 

Detrimental effects of no-carb diets

No Carb Diet: Is it really effective?

Undoubtedly, carbohydrates are crucial for living creatures, not only humans. No-carb diets might be beneficial for weight management, but they can have some extreme outcomes on your health. Some of the mild side effects of no carb diet are headache, muscle cramps, and constipation. Fatigue, change in bowel movements, nausea, vomiting, and bad breath are some of the other side effects of a low-carb diet. The bad breath can be attributed to some of the chemicals released during ketosis, which is a metabolic process persistent in a no-carb diet. 

Despite their efficiency at shedding weight, it is recommended that no-carb diets should not be followed for a longer span. No-carb diets can result in a deficiency of important minerals in the body. Adding to it, these diets can also facilitate disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract. Experts believe that completely cutting off carbs from your diet can affect longevity. 

Consumption of fat and protein in no carb diet can increase the risk of heart complications and chances of cancer. Not consuming the required carbs by the body increases mortality. A study suggested that low-carb diets increased mortality by 15%. Heart mortality covers an increment of 13%, while the figure for cancer mortality accounted for 8%. Health experts suggest not following a no-carb diet for a long time. 

The side effects are not just limited to the time tenure while you are following a no-carb diet. Once you make up your mind to discontinue a no-carb diet, your body can find it difficult to adjust to the altered diet. No carb diet is excellent for rapid weight loss, but once a person gets back carn consumption, he is more likely to regain the weight. 

If you start adding carbs after following a no-carb diet, you are more likely to feel hungry. It is because your satiety has been altered, which was compensated by fats and proteins earlier. Bloating is another side effect you might experience if you are planning to add carbs to your diet. 

Wrapping It Up

Picking a diet plan can be difficult. Each diet plan offers benefits and side effects. Before you choose a diet plan for yourself, it is essential to understand every aspect of the diet plan. Because your diet affects your overall health, it becomes crucial that a diet plan is chosen wisely. 

Choosing the right plan should depend on your personal goals and nutritional requirements. Different diet plans can be incorporated into health styles to focus on your medical conditions. One thing to note is to avoid covering big milestones and focus on small incremental steps.

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