Low Carb is a perennial favorite among diets. But what is actually behind the nutrition concept – and does the renunciation of carbohydrates really help with weight loss?
What is behind the low carb principle?
As the term “low carb” says, “low carbs” are at the forefront of this diet. Followers of this concept assume that a carbohydrate-rich diet is the root of the widespread obesity – and can have negative consequences on our health. Depending on the diet, carbs are reduced to less than 10 percent or up to 45 percent of total energy intake. In return, of course, the intake of fat or protein is increased to stay fit.
Anyone who subsists on the principle of low carb, therefore tries to keep his blood sugar constant and the insulin distribution low by the abandonment of bread, pasta, rice and Co. The lack of energy that the body has normally received from the sugar (glucose), takes the body according to this theory from the existing fat reserves. In addition, our body needs significantly more energy to digest proteins. Both processes, ie the degradation of the fat reserves and the metabolism of the proteins, lead to a weight reduction. For this reason, the low carb principle is also used as the basis of many diets.
What forms of low carb are there?
The low-carb principle is, as already said, used by many diets as a basis – the different versions are, however, uneven and vary in part strongly from each other. For example, the Atkins Diet only shuns high glycemic index carbohydrates . Among other things, the following low-carb diets rely on the nutritional concept:
- Dukan: In this weight loss treatment, carbohydrates are completely eliminated at the beginning, in the second phase they are allowed in small quantities.
- Atkins: This diet mold relies on proteins and fat, carbs are barely allowed.
- Glyx: The glyx principle differentiates between “good” and “bad” carbohydrates – depending on what effect they have on blood sugar levels.
- Ketogen: This weight loss program is an extreme form of low carb diet; The intake of carbohydrates is reduced to a minimum.
- Anabol: This diet is based on the Atkins concept and has the goal to maintain the body’s muscle mass despite fat loss.
- Hollywood: As the name suggests, this diet is particularly appreciated in LA – again, this is a very protein-rich form of nutrition.
How does Low Carb work in practice?
Implementing a low carb diet is basically very easy. You do not have to count calories, just give up carbohydrates on your diet plan. However, since these are especially filling, you need to make sure that you satisfy your cravings with (healthy) fats and proteins. The nutritional plan is adapted to your personal energy needs, and supplemented with other foods. But which foods are actually part of the daily diet – and which foods should be avoided? With these foods, you can create low-carbohydrate (vegetarian) entrees, dinners and flash recipes.
These foods are preferred:
Eggs (omelette, protein bread), meat (chicken breast), fish (salmon) and seafood, nuts and kernels, sprouts, milk and cheese (feta), soya products, vegetable oils, vegetables and salad, fruits with low fructose (berries, persimmons)
These foods are taboo:
Bread, potatoes, alcohol, rice, sugar (sweets, soft drinks, juice), honey, pasta, oatmeal
What do the experts say about the nutritional model?
Experts criticize the low-carb model for the fact that the increased intake of fat and the supply of protein pose risks. Especially in people with cardiovascular diseases, pregnant women or elderly, arteries could become blocked by fat. The amount of protein can also be detrimental to your health: People suffering from kidney, liver problems or gout could aggravate these diseases with low carbohydrate foods. In addition, headaches, muscle spasms and nausea may occur. Anyone who omits pasta and co. Risks risking overproduction of cortisol and high blood pressure.
The German Nutrition Society also criticizes the fact that the diet is rather one-sided. The DGE represents a more carbohydrate-focused diet and considers a reduction of carbs basically not necessary. To avoid overweight, it is enough to eat a balanced diet instead of low carbohydrate. This means: A mixture of complex carbohydrates (50 percent), fiber (30 percent), healthy fatty acids and proteins. Animal fats, on the other hand, should be kept to a minimum to protect the heart and circulation.