Why Low Carb
To understand why low carb diets are so effective, it is important to understand how our bodies actually process carbs and sugars.
Carbohydrates, once ingested, are converted into glucose (i.e. sugar) by the body. To be clear, ALL carbohydrates are processed as glucose by the body, regardless of the Glycemic Index (GI).People confuse themselves with good carbs, bad carbs, and good sugars (presumably from fruit) or bad sugars. Our bodies treat ALL carbs and ALL types of sugars, as sugar, regardless of their source, which raises your blood glucose levels (blood sugars).
In order to counter this action of raised blood sugars, the pancreas then secretes insulin to reduce the blood glucose levels. The purpose of insulin is to take the sugars out of your blood stream and channel them towards the cells that utilize glucose for energy. If there is too much sugar in the blood for the amount of insulin that is secreted or the cells reject taking in the sugars from the blood stream, you start developing a condition called Insulin Resistance. This simply means your body is resisting the work of insulin, which is to clear the sugars effectively from your blood.
After insulin has acted, any excess sugar left in your blood is then ushered out of your blood stream and converted into fat. This fat is stored chiefly around the waistline, but also in other parts of the body. The presence of insulin in your blood signals to the body that some fat might need to be stored in order to clear your blood of glucose. This is why insulin has also been called the “fat storage” hormone. The more carbohydrates and sugars you eat, the more insulin is present in your blood, the more your body stores fat.
A low carb diet is designed to significantly reduce the amount carbohydrates you consume, which means that you do not spike your blood glucose levels and therefore your pancreas secrets less insulin. This frees up the capacity for your body to burn the fat that it already has stored, instead of constantly packing on more fat.
By reducing your carb and sugar intake, you can:
- Stabilise blood sugar levels
- Stabilise insulin levels
- Regulate your body’s hunger signals
- Improved weight management
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Reduce inflammation in arteries and veins which is a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease and dementia
By stabilizing your blood glucose levels, you avoid the roller-coaster of energy highs and crashes. Your energy remains stable and sustained throughout the day, blood lipid profile (cholesterol) improves, blood pressure drops and stanbilises and insulin is stabilized. This facilitates fat burning and weight loss, reduces inflammation markers, and other symptoms that are linked to a high carb intake are stabilized (such as hunger pangs and sweet sugar cravings). You also avoid the now well documented path to chronic illness such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, hypertension and heart disease.
BENEFITS OF A LOW CARB DIET
- To your Body
- Improved weight management and weight loss
- Improved digestion
- More energy and alertness
- Better regulated sleep
- Lack of hunger and cravings
- Balanced blood sugar levels
- Lowered fasting insulin
- Balanced blood pressure
- Reduction in triglycerides
- To your Mind
- Improvement in sleep regulation
- Clearer thinking and mental alertness
- Stabilised mood
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