One of the biggest debates in the diet and nutrition industry is whether low-carb diets or low-fat diets are better. The research shows that reducing dietary fats may not actually improve longevity or reduce heart disease risk. In fact, certain fats are actually crucial to total health so reducing intake of these fats could be detrimental to your health.
Now, other research shows that reducing your intake of carbohydrates does improve your health. In fact, one study found that high carbohydrate intake could actually heighten the risk of death by up to 30 percent. Learning more about why a low-carb diet is superior to a low-fat diet will help you to make the smartest dietary choices for your health.
Easier Calorie Restriction
If you are trying to lose weight, reducing your carbohydrates makes it almost effortless. When you follow a low-fat diet, every calorie counts, and you often have to worry most about your portion sizes. Now, with a low-carb diet, the foods you are eating are generally lower in calories naturally, so you can eat until you are satiated without consuming excess calories. Eating a diet low in carbohydrates also has appetite-reducing effects. Because of this, you tend to fill up faster, further reducing your caloric intake.
When you are following a low-carb diet, your body is using fat to fuel itself instead of glucose. The fat that the body uses most is the deep visceral fat that is located in your abdominal area. So, not only do you slim down, but reducing this specific type of fat can also reduce the risk heart disease and diabetes. It is estimated that those following a low-carb diet lose an average of up to three times more fat compared to low-fat dieters.
Reduce Your Triglyceride Levels
Triglycerides are found in the blood and they are a type of fat. The higher your body’s levels of triglycerides, the higher your risk of developing heart disease. Consuming refined carbohydrates frequently has been directly linked to increased triglyceride levels. So, it makes sense that a low-carb diet will reduce triglyceride levels since this diet requires severely limited carbohydrate intake. In fact, research shows that low-fat diets will either worsen triglyceride levels or not improve them while low-carb diets do cause a drastic improvement.
Better Total Cholesterol Balance
Preventing heart disease requires a solid balance of good and bad cholesterol. The good cholesterol helps to remove the bad cholesterol from the body’s peripherals so that it is not able to accumulate. A low-fat diet can reduce good cholesterol, but low-carb diets actually increase it. This diet can also essentially take bad cholesterol and convert it into a benign form that does not typically accumulate in the arteries to induce heart disease.
Protein is also important for good cholesterol balance. Eating a low-carb diet naturally results in more dietary protein since you will eat more fish, meat and chicken. However, you can also opt for protein powders and supplements. Just make sure to choose a low-carb protein powder or supplement to best balance your daily macros.
Improve Your Glycemic Control
The majority of the carbohydrates that you eat are converted into glucose in your body. Glucose is a sugar and consuming excess sugar over the long-term puts you at risk for Type II diabetes. You will naturally and significantly reduce your sugar intake when you eat a low-carb diet. Reducing carbohydrates is often recommended to those who have diabetes because it allows for better blood sugar control. In fact, some Type II diabetes patients are able to stop or reduce their diabetes medications when they follow a low-carb diet.
Low-Carb is Easier to Do Long-Term Compared to Low-Fat
When you adopt a low-carb diet, you are limiting an entire food group. However, since there are viable replacements for everything you are eliminating from breads to rice and pasta, you will not have to deprive yourself. You can even enjoy a wealth of low-carb desserts, many of which taste almost exactly like the real thing. With low-fat diets, you spend so much time counting calories and taking note of every bite that it becomes distressing and hard to maintain the diet.
Before making any major diet changes, it is best to talk to a nutritionist and your doctor. They can help you to ease into the low-carb lifestyle so that it is easier to adopt and maintain over the long-term. They can also provide tips that ensure the greatest health benefits when reducing your carbohydrate intake.