There’s a battle going on for years between two controversial macronutrients: carbs versus fats.
For such a long time, health critics viewed consuming fats in high amounts as something unacceptable. What gave it such a bad reputation was the common misconception that fats can be detrimental to your health. It is the culprit of some known chronic diseases, especially, cardiovascular ailments. But, is it really or not?
Truth is, not all fats is bad for your health. If you’re going to take a closer look at every member of this macronutrient group, you’ll realize that most of them offer major contributions to health and wellness. What you should do avoid is the bad, harmful member you probably heard of. That’s none other than, trans fat.
Trans fats are found in every typical fast food favorite. Fries, chips, all sorts of fried, processed foods with longer shelf-life—name them all. They all consist a typical Western diet, right? However, these foods containing trans fats are the worst foods on earth. Trans fats increase the amount of bad cholesterol in your body while decreasing the good ones.
Indeed, the more you consume these harmful fats, the more vulnerable you become to cardiovascular ailments, cancers, and metabolic diseases.
Instead of giving the entire fat group a bad name, watch out for foods that contain a large amount of trans fats and eliminate them from your diet.
Let’s talk about carbs then. We need carbohydrates to fuel our body with needed energy for physical activities, especially the strenuous ones. For people with hard physical work, carbs can be a true friend. Taken in the right amount, healthy sources of carbohydrates can be beneficial for the body like the rest of other macronutrient groups.
Too much of anything though is always considered as harmful, something that could bring about adverse effects. The tendency to overeat carbs, particularly its unhealthy sources, could lead to poor control over blood sugar levels, uncontrolled weight gain, and brain fog. Overconsumption of carbs is also linked to developing metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
With regards to carb consumption, take a look at your lifestyle, too. If you’ve been sedentary lately—sitting and facing the computer all day long at work and spending some more time on the couch watching TV, chances are carbs could rather be an enemy than a friend. Carbohydrates are basically sugar and starch. What would you do with all that sugar when you’re not active?
Getting to Know the LCHF Diet
The influx of entertainment-infused gadgets further promoted sedentary lifestyle. It has become increasingly popular that most people these days prefer spending more time sitting or lying while their eyes are glued on their smartphones rather than doing something physically active such as exercising.
If people leading an active lifestyle need to watch their carb intake, what more with people who are less physically active?
One of the common health and fitness misconceptions that most of us believed in the past is that we should avoid fats more than carbs. That it’s fine to eat a little more carbs than to eat high amount of fats. However, studies show that this is a mistake, especially, given the lifestyle that most of us have these days.
It should be the other way around. Less carbs, more natural fats equals a fit and healthier body. This has been named by diet experts as the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet, which is also commonly known as ketogenic or simply, ‘keto’ diet.
The LCHF diet basically means increasing your fat intake and decreasing your carb consumption while keeping the amount of protein moderate in your diet. A strict keto diet consists of 75% fat, 5% carbs, and 20% protein.
However, a more general guide can already offer great fitness improvement for you. That’s achieved by reducing carb intake to 30% of the overall diet, increasing natural fat intake by 40%, and keeping protein intake at 30%. This promotes fast weight loss, better cognitive function, normalized blood sugar levels, improved heart health, and healthier cells.
What happens to your body when you’re on a low-carb, high-fat diet? It can be summed up in this concept: The body runs out of glucose to burn for energy, so it turns to stored fat, burns it, and becomes the body’s energy source. Glucose is the main energy source that our body uses. So, with decreased amount of it, your body uses stored fat, thus promoting weight loss.
While it offers wonderful health benefits, the LCHF diet, especially the strictest form, isn’t great for everyone. For example, it’s naturally unsuitable for people who are underweight. When it’s difficult to add some more pounds to achieve a healthier BMI, cutting back a huge amount of healthy carbs could probably make it harder.
Carbs may be super hated by keto fanatics, making it sound like a vicious enemy. But a little heads up to that: the low-carb, high-fat diet doesn’t mean hating carbs totally and eliminating all of it for good in your life. Just as how the name implies, you still need carbs but in lower amount as compared to fat intake. More importantly, it should come from healthy sources, not from highly-processed foods.
Benefits of Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet
Before we discuss the major benefits of LCHF diet, let’s take a look at the common side effects of a low-fat diet. Common side effects include poor brain function, weight gain, excessive eating particularly sugar intake, leaky gut syndrome, hormonal imbalances, diabetes and higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Good news is, you can avoid these poor health problems by reversing your diet. A low-carb, high-fat diet can bring you amazing benefits.
1. Achieve Normal Weight
The keto diet is best for individuals with excess weight, trying to achieve normal pounds fast and easy. For years, it was believed that in order to avoid getting fat, then, you should avoid taking fats in your diet. This led to the low-fat diet craze which recent researches revealed as actually less effective as compared to limiting carb intake.
On the other hand, low-carb, high-fat diet has been proven fast and effective when it comes to weight loss. This is because it limits the release of insulin, the fat-storing hormone, which is the main culprit why we get fat and add more pounds to our weight.
Carbs encourage the release of more insulin. So, taking more carbs means producing more insulin and storing more fat, hence, weight gain. Aside from this, when you eat more carbs, it’s more likely that you’ll get hungry and crave for food every time. Also, with less glucose coming from carbs, stored fat becomes your body’s alternative energy source.
With high amount of carb intake, ghrelin, often called the “hungry hormone”, increases. This alerts your body for more food cravings. On the other hand, eating foods that contain less carbs can make you feel more satisfied for hours. This helps big time as you can go for hours without taking a snack.
A low-carb, high fat diet combined with active lifestyle will definitely give you the health and fitness you desire.
2. Prevent Type Two Diabetes
High blood sugar levels are the main problem of diabetic patients. It’s simple to describe the situation going on inside the body of someone with diabetes. The body fails to transform sugar into an energy fuel, as it can’t be transported into the cells. When this happens, sugar remains in the blood stream, accumulating in there, until the blood sugar level increases.
As the blood sugar level increases, it comes to a point that it’s already too high than what is normal. If the situation isn’t controlled and continues instead, that’s the time when diabetes starts developing.
The logic in preventing type two diabetes is also simple. Less carb intake means less sugar intake. With less sugar intake, there will be less glucose stuck in your bloodstream. So, a low-carb diet will surely help you manage your blood sugar levels, keeping it as normal as possible.
Medical practitioners have seen a great potential in LCHF diets as a natural and cost-effective treatment for type two diabetes. Recent studies show a pattern of dramatic improvement in normalizing blood sugar levels of diabetic patients who followed a low-carb, high-fat diet for several weeks.
Patients who followed a low-fat diet were also observed. Yet, the results weren’t as excellent as the former group. In fact, there’s less improvement in their condition. Therefore, the keto diet is unmatched when it comes to reversing type two diabetes in a natural way.
However, if you have already started taking a diabetes medication, you should first let your doctor know if you want to try LCHF diet. Under his guide, you can determine whether a keto diet will not counteract with your current medication.
3. Inhibit Cancer Growth
Cancer cells feed on sugar. They definitely love it so much, as it acts as their main fuel to survive and duplicate. Actually, this has been seen as a clear reason why cancer patients who have high blood sugar levels are less likely to show significant improvement in their condition.
High sugar intake induces inflammation in the body, thus promoting tumor growth in cancer patients. Eliminating sugar from a cancer patient’s diet is often recommended. In this case, the ketogenic diet is the answer.
A ketogenic diet is usually made up of foods rich in natural vitamins and minerals. It can be an antioxidant-rich diet that helps protect healthy cells and regenerate new ones while reducing the impact of oxidative damage and busting cancer cells.
Even in late stage cancer patients, keto diet can suppress the further spreading of cancer cells. So, it’s still best to find out cancer growth as early as possible. Taking an LCHF diet early on can minimize the possibility of its progression.
Prevent cancer by taking a low-carb diet starting today.
4. Reduce Risks for Cardiovascular Diseases
The common theory on reducing risks for cardiovascular diseases is eating a low-fat diet. Nonetheless, research found out that this theory is wrong after all. Fats are very much misunderstood. There’s no problem with consuming healthy fats. In fact, there are major benefits.
It has been found out that cardiovascular diseases are actually caused by refined carbs, high amount of sugar, processed vegetable oils, and low-quality proteins. Healthy fats such as Omega-3s are good for the heart.
Monounsaturated fats commonly found in olive oil and avocados are also excellent at reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad cholesterol”, and triglycerides while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the opposite of bad cholesterol. These fats can also lower blood pressure and decrease the formation of blood clots.
With a low-carb, high-fat diet, you’ll be able to minimize the risks of developing heart problems later on.
5. Improve Cognitive Function
While diet high in carbs could give you tremendous energy boost, you’ll eventually feel low, anxious and irritable when sugar runs out. On the contrary, our brain needs a steady supply of healthy fats to keep it healthy and active and to function at its best. Thus, a low-fat diet is often linked to poor job or school performance.
People with low-fat diet tend to perform poorly on abstract reasoning, concentration, word fluency, and executive functioning. Meanwhile, those who follow a low-carb, high-fat diet are most likely to show outstanding performance on these measures. They also have better regulated mood patterns and energy levels.
If you want to be an outstanding performer in your job or at school, you better prefer a low-carb, high-fat diet, and see where great places it can take you.
6. Regulate Hormones
A low-carb diet can help balance the neurotransmitter function, boosting positive mood cycles. Thus, it has been seen as a great natural way to alleviate depression and mood disorders in some people.
Some studies show that people who took a low-carb diet for several weeks have a general feeling of improved well-being. They also developed better self-esteem. Indeed, the LCHF diet isn’t only great for physical health, it’s also essential for enhancing psychological functions.
With better psychological functions, we are able to build an effective connection to ourselves and to other people around us, enabling us to gain good relationships.
So, to be happier and more confident about yourself, why not try a low-carb diet? Who knows, it will work for you, too!
7. Promote Proper Digestion
Just like how cancer cells love sugar, so is bad bacteria. Excessive carb intake could mean the production of bad bacteria in your digestive system causing problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, and leaky gut syndrome.
In order to promote proper digestion, reduce your sugar intake and increase your vegetable diet that are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and good protein.
One more thing, low-carb diet prevents you from developing food allergies which is totally a wonderful benefit.
8. Better Skin Health
Skin problems such as acne could alter the quality of one’s life. It reduces self-esteem which may cause a person to shy away from social interaction, and rather spend more time alone. For those who don’t understand, acne sufferers prefer to be alone than to suffer hurtful teasing from insensitive acquaintances. It’s no surprise then that acne causes depression in the same way that chronic diseases do.
There are many causes of acne, as well as factors that worsen it. One could be traced from your diet. High amount of sugar is to blame for all sorts of heightened inflammation in your body, including those despicable breakouts that you wish to stop as soon as possible. Even dermatologists suggest that acne sufferers must reduce their carb and sugar intake.
In addition, a number of acne sufferers discovered that a low-carb diet is one of the best natural remedies for their condition. Some of those experiences include worse-case scenarios who have tried expensive treatments and medication, yet they discovered a better way to permanently end their problem—that is, by promoting a healthy lifestyle through low-carb diet.
As they pick the right foods that promote better skin health, they’ve seen dramatic improvements in their case. Such good news indeed!
It should be noted though that starting a low-carb high-fat diet could also pose some risks and side effects. As mentioned before, it is not suitable for people who are underweight and experience difficulty in achieving the right BMI.
Aside from this, if you’re too used with high amount of carbs in your diet, chances are your body will experience a major shock if you suddenly shift into a strict low-carb high-fat diet plan. You may feel extremely low in energy, irritability or even anxiety. Therefore, it is suggested that you reverse your diet plan gradually, instead of making an entire shift.
The benefit of doing so is helping your body to adjust to change in a slow, but sure manner, while still performing a good job on your daily activities.
After all, nobody likes major life changes in an instant, right? Almost everything requires gradual transition, including your diet pattern. So, to achieve excellent, long-term results, don’t hurry. Take the transition easy.
For a low-carb diet, here’s a list of foods you should include in your meals:
• Meat: Pork, beef, chicken, lamb, etc. Take note, organic meat is the best kind.
• Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock. Aim for wild-caught.
• Eggs: Pastured eggs
• Veggies: Broccoli, carrots, spinach, cauliflower. Green and leafy is always the winner.
• Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
• High-fat Dairy Products: Cheese, butter, yogurt.
• Oils: Coconut oil, olive oil, and cod fish liver oil.
• Beverages: Water, coffee, tea, and dry wines with no added carbs and sugar.
• Highly-processed foods: Probably those that are infused with artificial ingredients that prolong shelf-life. Fast food, instant food? No, thanks.
• Trans Fats: Hydrogenated oils, fries, all sorts of fried—reduce your intake of those.
• Gluten Grains: Bread, Pasta, White Rice
• Sugar: Doughnut, Ice Cream, Candies, Soft Drinks—you know which items in the market are too sweet.
• Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame is a major culprit!
Amazed? Start LCHF Diet Today
This surprising list of health benefits will never fail to astound anyone. For many years, fats have been given a bad reputation. It turns out though, that a low-carb high-fat diet brings more amazing benefits than the long promoted low-fat diet. We don’t say that all carbs are bad. They just needed to be taken in the right amount. Most importantly, let’s avoid the wrong sources.
With low-carb high-fat diet, you can prevent type two diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, obesity, and overeating. You’ll be able to improve positive mood cycles, digestion, cognitive function, and skin health.
That’s how exciting the change can be. You are what you eat. Choose what’s healthy.