WHAT IS LOW CARB
A low carb diet is essentially the reverse of the food pyramid diet and features fat as the primary intake of the diet, moderate proteins and very little carbohydrates (often in the form of green cruciferous vegetables). When the fat intake is high and the carb intake is low, meals are delicious and satiating. Hunger pangs disappear. Weight is easier to control. And more importantly, blood sugar levels are maintained at a steady level that does not trigger insulin spikes and therefore allows cellular responsiveness to insulin. This increases your energy, improves your metabolic function and allows your hormones to balance and function as they should.
On the “standard” food pyramid diet, carbohydrate intake is very high (about 60% of dietary intake) while fat, and especially saturated fat, is limited to very little right at the top of the pyramid. People on the food pyramid diet are encouraged to eat all manner of carbs, as well as fruit and starchy vegetables, alongside fat free dairy and highly processed seed oils like Canola and Sunflower oil.
This diet, high in carbohydrates, has the effect of chronically elevating blood sugar levels. It requires that the people who eat this way constantly be grazing throughout the day on 3 solid meals and 2 snacks, which never gives your sugar levels a chance to recover during the day. The hormone insulin is constantly in production. The longer this cycle continues, the more likely the person is to develop a condition called insulin resistance – where the cells that receive signals from insulin to clear the sugars from the blood, just stop responding to the signals.
Insulin resistance is a hallmark of metabolic syndrome, which disrupts the balance and function of all the other hormones in your body (thyroid, estrogen, leptin, to name a few). This imbalance leads constant hunger pangs, difficulty controlling weight, an expanding waistline, energy slumps mid afternoon and a host of other undesirable symptoms. This diet has additionally proven itself to be responsible for the surge of lifestyle related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, cancer and heart disease. There are also links between a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates to behavioral and mood disorders such as ADHD, bipolar disease, dementia, and even depression. Basically, eating this way has resulted in nothing good over the years.
The low carb way of eating is sugar free i.e. excludes refine and processed sugars, as well as so called “natural” sugars like honey, maple syrup and high fructose fruits. It is also free of ALL refined carbohydrates i.e. white and wholewheat flour (and everything made with them), rice, pasta, high starch vegetables and any highly processed foods.
It is a high fat diet, meaning you do not shy away from fats and oils and use saturated fatty sources such as bacon, lard, tallow, butter and coconut oil at every meal. You also consume high fat meat like lamb, pork and chicken with the skin ON! For some people, this is a completely new way of not just eating, but of thinking, but the benefits associated with a low carb diet are numerous.
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