Apparently, what one person considers to be low carbohydrate is not necessarily low carbohydrate for another person. Kelly Schmidt, RD, of Columbus, Ohio, believes there is no medical definition of low carb. Basically, you are cutting back on carbohydrates. According to her, a low-carbohydrate diet typically contains 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day in the average person. A ketogenic diet is one that has less than 100 grams of carbs per day, while a moderate-carb diet contains 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Despite the fact that a low-carb diet is most commonly associated with weight reduction, Schmidt believes it can also be beneficial for some people’s health. Women who are obese or have metabolic issues may benefit hormonally from a low-carbohydrate diet, according to Schmidt, who adds that the diet also may improve sleep, improve mental, and satiety.
Some people’s blood sugar and insulin levels drop when they reduce their carbohydrate intake. That is according to dietician Franziska Spritzler, who practices in Orange County, CA. Sugar is transported into cells by insulin after carbs are broken down by the body into glucose, explains Spritzler. The pancreas overproduces insulin when you are overweight or obese, she explains. “Your cells may not respond to insulin when you are overweight or obese,” she says. She says that high insulin levels stimulate appetite and lead to fat accumulation. In this way, a low-carbohydrate diet may help keep your blood sugar in balance and your insulin level low, which may help you lose weight. Weight loss is typically recommended for people with type 2 diabetes, thus this method might both, directly and indirectly, improve blood glucose levels, according to the authors.
What scientists say about low carb diet
One benefit is that it may be realized nearly instantly. Three lower-carbohydrate meals (less than 30% carbohydrates each) decreased chronic inflammation by more than 30% compared to three high-carbohydrate meals. Diets with lower carbs and lower fat helped people lose more visceral fat, which is a kind of abdominal fat that clings to organs and is associated with illness. Also in June 2016, Obesity Reviews reported that a low-carb diet decreased fat in obese persons over the course of the last year, with the largest effects found in people who followed a very low-carb strategy.
A low-carb diet is not necessarily better than other diets or healthier in the long run, though. Low-carbohydrate diets do not work better for weight reduction or glucose management, according to a review published in the December 2015 edition of Diabetes Therapy. After one year, individuals on a low-carb diet lost more weight than those who were on a low-fat diet, but after one year, weight loss and A1C levels (an average of blood glucose over roughly three months) were strikingly comparable.