Are low carb diets effective?
On one hand we believe that as a society we have made great progress in understanding that beating illness and obesity is a lifestyle change and not a fad and one the other, new fads seem to emerge quicker than ever! Is the Bulletproof Diet or Ketogenic Diet one of them? Yes and no.
Let’s refer to science and common sense for answers. When we eat and drink, we’re putting energy (calories) into our bodies.
If the calories we consume are the same as the energy we use by normal bodily functions and physical activity, we maintain weight. We consume more than we burn – we gain, we consume less or burn more – we lose. It’s simple really, so why all the confusion?
Is the composition of our caloric intake important?
Many believe that a calorie is a calorie and whether it comes from protein or sugar it doesn’t really matter. According to
Doctor Kristin Reimers ‘The most important goal for weight loss is to achieve a negative calorie balance … The focus is on calories’ (National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning).
Low Carb vs. Low Fat
According to multiple randomized studies the weight loss can sometimes be bigger in low carb dieters and sometimes they experience increase of ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL). The limitation here, however, is that the low carbers experienced increase in both types of cholesterol and the low fat dieters decreased cholesterol overall. Also it was not specified what types of foods (fats, carbs)those sample diet groups should get their calories from. Surely whether you get your fat from lard or avocado/coconut oil has an impact on the final result (and your health!). Same goes for carbs. Whether you eat bags of sugar and processed foods or organic whole carbs will make a difference!
Since all kinds of diets: Mediterranean, Asian and Inuit prove to be quite effective in keeping people healthy despite their differences – it shows that reducing unhealthy processed foods rather than whole food groups is key here. Also, remember that a high fat diet is relatively high in protein and that can also lead to better results. It really depends what result you are trying to achieve with your diet. But regardless of whether you go low carb or not, remember to cut out the junk and invest in whole, organic foods.
As much as high fat diets may not be a fad but a genuine way (one of many) to improve your health, don’t let anyone brainwash you into thinking shoving 10 pounds of butter in your mouth everyday will work magic. Calories count, exercise counts and organic counts!!! To find out more I recommend reading as much as you can to be able to make an informed decision what’s best for you. Here are some buys I found great!