When it comes to food, many of us naturally shy away from a low carb diet because we love our carbs, such as, cookies, cupcakes, pasta and pretty much anything that taste yummy. We sometimes don’t even realize how many carbs we consume on a daily. The average person consumes around 225-325 carbs per day. Carbs might be tasty and satisfy our unhealthy cravings, however, have you ever stopped to think about what carbs are?
Carbs are essentially sugar when broken down in the body. When we eat carbs, our blood sugar rises causing an insulin response. Insulin then takes the glucose (sugar/carbs) and places it into fat cells. Fat cells can surround our nearby organs and cause major health concerns over time. Decreasing the number of carbs taken in can have a direct effect on the use of our stored fat cells as energy. When using the already existing fat stores in our body as energy, causes BMI and body fat percentages to lower.
Choosing to eat healthier, a low carb diet can have great benefits on your health, wellness, and body composition.
One of the reasons low carb diets tend to be so popular is the weight loss aspect. Many of us struggle with trying to knock off the unwanted pounds from our body frame, however, when changing to a low carb diet, the pounds start to melt away. When reducing the number of carbs in your diet, your insulin levels don’t spike up, so you are reducing your body from storing excess fat. Low carb diets help rid your body of water weight, which is the initial cause of weight loss. Over time your body develops a more efficient metabolism and is better at burning more fat as fuel.
Yes, it’s true we can’t specifically target fat loss in a specific area, although lower-carb diets have been linked to lower body fat in the abdominal region. When you lower your carbs, you are regulating the amount of insulin your pancreas produces, the fewer insulin spikes you have, the more your body can focus on using your existing fat cells as energy. Abdominal fat, indirectly of a low carb diet, will start to diminish over time. The accumulation of abdominal fat can be harmful to your health, diseases such as type II diabetes are more likely to occur with higher amounts of fat surrounding the abdomen. The loss of abdominal fat creates a flatter stomach and smaller waistline, giving you a leaner appearance.
One of the greatest benefits of reducing your carbs is the improvement of your health. Low carb diets can cause an increase in your good cholesterol (HDL). The HDL can remove bad cholesterol (LDL) from arteries and other blood vessels where LDL stores itself. When a buildup LDL has accumulated in the blood vessels, the pathways become narrower making it more difficult for blood to circulate through the body.
With the narrower blood vessel walls, there is an increased risk of LDL creating a clot, which can cause a stroke or sudden heart attack. HDL works to help eliminate or decrease LDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol attaches to LDL and is transported to the liver, where it is metabolized and excreted out. A decrease in LDL cholesterol reduces the chance of heart diseases, hypertension, and diabetes.