When you initially think of a low carb diet, what do you think of? Mainstream media may have you thinking about shedding pounds – fast – but, this really shouldn’t be the case. Low carb diets are designed to limit the amount of carbs you eat, thus reducing your intake of glucose, or blood sugars.
While glucose is important to cellular survival and for the body to stay healthy and energized, too much or too little of a good thing is ultimately a bad thing. Too much glucose can lead to hypoglycemia or a sugar crash. Because a low carb diet helps maintain healthy levels of glucose many healthcare professionals are beginning to recommend them to patients as a natural, non-medicated solution.
Here are the reasons why low carb diets should be about health, not weight loss:
1. It Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
Foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates release insulin when they are digested by the body. Insulin, otherwise referred to as a “fat-storage hormone,” signals to the body’s cells to store as much energy as they possibly can. The result is a buildup of excess fat in the body. Low carb diets are touted as a great way to lose weight because, by reducing the consumption of carbohydrates, it keeps this fat storage low. This means mean the body needs to reach into the fat stores to find energy when it needs it.
Health-wise, controlling blood sugar levels in this way lowers the risk of diabetes and hyperglycemia, significant health concerns that can arise when there is too much sugar in the blood. The other problem with consuming too much sugar and carbohydrates is that it keeps the body from getting the healthy fats it needs to thrive both physically and mentally.
2. It Enhances Cognitive Performance
Sugar is an addictive substance. The brain reacts by craving more and more of it, and resorts to anxiety and fatigue. The best solution is to limit the amount of sugar that gets put into the body, replacing it with healthy fats like omega-3 instead. These healthy fats are essential to the brain’s function to keep it at optimal performance. A low carb diet will limit your intake of sugars while focusing on balancing your diet with foods and snacks high in these healthy fats, like MCTbar with MCT oil.
3. It Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Cancers
Health professionals are now recognizing there is a simple and convenient, non-medicated way to reduce the risk of diabetes: limit the amount of sugar and starch the body consumes. Diets high in carbohydrates put the body at greater risk of diabetes and heart disease because they raise insulin secretion, which in turn increases fat storage.
Studies have also shown that sugar may actually feed cancer cells, putting the body at greater risk of certain types of cancers in people with high-sugar and high-carbohydrate diets. By switching to a low carb diet, some patients may be able to take advantage of a natural cancer treatment (but this should be discussed with a health professional). Ultimately, when cancer cells have less energy from sugars, healthy cells can use the healthy fats they’re receiving from the low carb diet as an energy boost.
Putting Your Health First
While your first inclination may be to start a low carb diet to lose weight, you should first focus on your health. By keeping the body healthy with lower levels of glucose in the blood, you are reducing your risk of chronic illness and enhancing your cognitive performance. Once you have achieved a well-balanced mind and body, then you can naturally work towards other goals, such as weight loss.