Carbohydrates can be majorly divided into dietary fibres and sugar components. Low carbohydrates diets or also low-carbs-diets are the dietary programs or regimes which are framed to restrict an individual’s consumption of carbohydrates. These diets/ plans are most often used for the treatment of obesity. In such diets the consumption of foods that are high in carbohydrates is limited or reduced. This is done majorly by replacing foods containing high percentage of carbohydrates with higher percentage of fats and proteins; or replacing the high carbohydrates food items with items that are low in carbohydrates.
The term “low carbohydrate low sugar diet” is generally attached to the diets that restrict or reduce the carbohydrates to less than 20% of the calorie intake. But the term is also used for the diets that simply restrict the consumption of carbohydrates by any percentage.
Thus the amount of carbohydrates allowed for consumption varies with the different low carbohydrate diets.
In general discussion regarding the uses of a low carb diet it is said that they are used to treat or prevent some chronic diseases or conditions. For example cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome and polycystic syndrome etc. But there is substantial controversy regarding the use and the benefits of the low carbohydrates low sugar diets.
While this debate regarding the effectiveness and the validity of the low carbohydrate low sugar diet continues, it has been clear in many cases that the diet works very well for many individuals. Any individual practising or willing to practice this has to understand that low carbohydrate diet is all about lifestyle change. A few benefits of the low carbohydrate diet are:
Weight Loss/ Fight Obesity
All the carbohydrates (except for dietary fibres) are broken down into simple sugar molecules. As long as the body has a steady supply of sugar molecules to burn it will not use the existing fat as fuel. Also the extra sugar in the body is stored as fat adding to the existing fat in the body. Curbing intake of carbohydrates thus helps the body burn fat for energy.
Curbing carbohydrates in one’s diet reduces the consumption of sugar content. These diets help maintain steadier levels of insulin in the body and avoid sugar rush, thus proving as beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.
Many medical institutes and organisations researching the cardiovascular or heart diseases suggest that low carbohydrates may be helpful but managing consumption of fat and proteins while reducing the carbohydrate consumption is a tricky balance and a vital one.