Low Carb Diet-8 Popular Ways To Go On One!
One diet that has been popular for many decades is the low carb diet. The clouds of controversy always surrounded this diet. However, low carb diet has now gained mainstream acceptance.
Apart from helping one lose weight, the diet improves health markers like blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
However, all low carb diets are not the same. There are different types of low carb diets. Here they are:
1) Typical low carb diet
There is no fixed definition of a typical low-carb diet. It is simply called a low carb or a carb restricted diet.
The diet is low in carbs and high in protein. It is based mostly on meat, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, fruits, veggies and healthy fats. In this diet, the intake of high carb foods such as grains, potatoes, sugary drinks and foods are minimized.
The carb intake recommended depends on the goals of an individual. However, here is a guideline:
- 100 to 150 grams of carbs- For those who want to maintain their weight or who do exercise of high intensity. You can have lots of fruit and some starchy foods like potatoes.
- 50 to 100 grams of carbs- For those who want a slow and steady weight loss/weight maintenance. You can have fruits and veggies.
- Below 50 g- For fast weight loss. Eat lots of veggies and limit the intake of fruit to berries with a low GI.
The ketogenic diet often called keto is a very low-carb diet which is high in fat. The aim of this diet is to keep the carn count so low so low that the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis.
When the intake of carbs is very low, insulin levels go down and the body releases lots of fatty acids from its fat stores. Many of these fatty acids get transferred to the liver, which can convert them into ketone bodies. Ketones are water-soluble molecules that supply energy to the brain.
In place of running on carbs, the brain starts getting energy from ketones. The little bit of glucose that the brain still needs is produced by the body through a process called gluconeogenesis.
In some versions of ketogenic diet even protein is restricted as too much of protein can reduce the ketones produced in the body.
The diet involves foods high in protein and fat. Carbs are limited to less than 50 g a day and are even brought down to 20-30 g.
The ketogenic diet was traditionally used in treating diseases like type 2 diabetes and neurological disorders.
3) Low carb high fat diet (LCHF)
LCHF (Low carb high fat diet) is a very low carb diet where the emphasis is on eating whole and unprocessed foods. This diet has become popular in the Nordic countries. It focuses on meats, seafood, eggs, veggies, healthy fats, dairy, nuts and berries.
The carb intake recommended on this diet ranges from 20 to 100 g per day.
4) Low carb paleo diet
One of the most popular diets in the world is the paleo diet. In this diet, the foods were available in the paleolithic era (before the agricultural revolution) are consumed.
The diet is based on the belief that when we follow the diet of our paleolithic ancestors it would improve our health.
Many small studies show that paleo diet causes weight loss, reduces blood sugar and risk of heart disease.
By definition, a paleo diet is not a low carb diet but in practice it is fairly low in carbs. You need to eat meat, fish, seafood, veggies, fruits, eggs, nuts, seeds and tubers. A strict paleo diet shuns dairy, grains, legumes and processed foods.
5) The Atkins diet
In the Atkins diet, all high carb foods are reduced and one is allowed to eat as much protein and fat as desired. Originally demonized, this diet is now rendered safe by modern science. It is split into 4 phases:
- Phase 1- Induction- Eat less than 20 g of carbs every day for two weeks.
- Phase 2- Balancing- Add nuts, low carb veggies and fruits
- Phase 3- Fine tuning- When getting close to your weight goal, add more carbs till the weight loss slows down
- Phase 4- Maintenance- Eat healthy carbs without gaining back the weight lost.
Eco-Atkins is a vegan version of the Atkins diet. Plant foods high in protein and fat are included, namely soy, nuts and plant oils. The diet has 25 percent of calories from carbs, 30 percent from protein and 45 percent from fat. Though higher in carbs than a normal Atkins diet, it is low in carbs when compared to vegan and vegetarian diets.
7) Zero carb diet
The zero carb diet includes foods only from the animal kingdom like meat, fish, eggs, animal fats. It is for those who want to eliminate all the carbs from their diet. No solid studies state that this diet is safe. It lacks nutrients and fibre.
8) Low carb Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is quite popular. In this diet foods eaten in the Mediterranean countries in the early 20th century are allowed. The diet is more like a Mediterranean diet, except for the fact that it limits higher-carb foods. The emphasis is on eating fish and olive oil.
Choosing the best low carb diet plan
It all depends on your lifestyle, health goals and preferences. What works for you may not work for someone else.
Hope this post has been useful!
You may also like reading-