The main health advantage of low carbohydrate diets is the improvement in glycemic or sugar control in the body. What this means is that your body will age more slowly because of a less stressful insulin response, and you will have a reduced chance of getting diabetes. Not a bad deal I’d say.
It has also been shown that a reduction in saturated fats with a low carbohydrate diet also helps temper the insulin response. This has a positive effect on cholesterol, reducing the bad LDL and increasing the good HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
One of the new the theories of aging suggests that it is the spike in insulin from the intake of too much sugar that leads to more rapid aging, probably due in part to increased inflammation. Also, when your body continually releases too much insulin in response to too much sugar (often consumed in the form of carbohydrates in the diet: bread, pasta, potatoes), the bodies ability to control blood sugar decreases over time. In other words, you become insulin insensitive. When it gets to the point that it is out of control, this leads to the condition known as Diabetes.
The other nice thing about a low carb diet is that it tends to lose fat from the upper body, particularly the stomach. Now who doesn’t love that. Additionally, it has been shown that upper body fat is less healthy than fat from other parts of the body. One study showed that men were 3 times more likely to lose fat in the upper body on a low carbohydrate diet than a low fat diet.
Another problem with carbohydrates is they tend to be addicting, and more people are addicted to them then we care to acknowledge. The addiction comes from the spikes in blood sugar and the spikes in our insulin response to the sugar. It’s like being on a roller coaster. You feel great and high after eating the spaghetti or pizza or bread, but within 1 or 2 hours our body depletes the sugar and we experience a “crash”, which makes us feel tired and lethargic, lacking energy. This makes us want to eat more sugar (carbohydrates). It is a vicious cycle.
Therefore, when we reduce the carbohydrates in our diet, we also reduce our hunger cravings.
Low Carbohydrate diets work well with regular exercise. But don’t go overboard. It is important to include a reasonable, moderate amount of carbohydrates in our diet every day. Just don’t eat too much at once: spread it out throughout the day, and eat more in the morning when you will have time to burn the calories off. Carbohydrates eaten in the evening will tend to make you gain weight.
Any diet that requires you to go low carbohydrate and use only low carbohydrate foods is saying that you need to hunt for vegetables that are low in carbohydrates. You need to use these vegetables in place of your regular foods, including high carbohydrate vegetables. There are many great tasting things that you can do with low carb vegetables.
They can be used in different diet recipes or used in salads. They are great by themselves as healthy snacks and you can also blend them for a nutritious drink. The many websites that give recipes for low carb cooking and meals have many some recipes that will let you use your low carb vegetables.
Imagine turning out a splendid meal using only low carb foods. You can give a magnificent side dish full of low carbohydrate vegetables that have been transformed into a tasty salad. This salad can be garnished with many interesting foods that are also low carbohydrate but taste great by themselves as well, such as fruits, nuts, or lean meats.
For example, you could make a salad from low carbohydrate vegetables and boneless beef, top sirloin steak, fresh lemon juice, gourmet salad greens, medium plum tomatoes, ranch or blue cheese dressing. You can make a seasoning for this salad with dried oregano, garlic and pepper.
As you can now see, there are many ways that you can mix your low carbohydrate vegetables with many other foods in order to make delicious meals for you and others to eat. The main thing to bear in mind is not to put foods like a heavy French dressing on your low carb vegetables. This will turn your nutritious low carb vegetables into a high carb nightmare.