10 Benefits of a Low Carb High Fat Diet
There’s been increased interest in the scientific community on benefits of Low Carb High Fat diets. Scientists across the globe have researched the benefits extensively. Here are 10 of the top benefits of a LCHF Diet.
- You Will Lose Weight
Scientific studies and years of experience have shown that weight loss will occur on a LCHF diet. The amount of weight loss may vary between individuals and will also depend on how aggressive you are in getting rid of sugar and carbs.
- Blood Sugar Will Improve
Studies have shown that low carbohydrate diets reduce levels of fasting glucose and glycated hemoglobin. This may be beneficial, in particular, if you have diabetes or prediabetes, which is quite common among individuals with the metabolic syndrome.
- Blood Pressure Will Improve
High blood pressure is one of the strongest known risk factors for stroke and heart disease. Lowering blood pressure is therefore considered a very important step to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate that LCHF diets lower blood pressure in individuals with overweight or obesity.
- Triglycerides Will Improve
Blood levels of triglycerides have emerged as a very important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. High serum triglyceride level is associated with abnormal lipoprotein metabolism, as well as with other risk factors including obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, and lowered levels of HDL cholesterol. It has been shown in a number of studies that carbohydrate restriction lowers triglyceride levels significantly.
- HDL Cholesterol Will Improve
HDL cholesterol is inversely related to both coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular disease mortality in both man and women. This means that low levels of HDL-cholesterol are associated with risk of heart disease. Carbohydrate restriction has been shown to increase blood levels of HDL-cholesterol.
- LDL Particle Size Will Improve
LDL-Cholesterol particles exist in different sizes. On one hand we have the large, fluffy, cotton-ball like molecules, and on the other hand the small dense molecules. Many recent studies have looked into the importance of LDL-particle size. Studies show that people whose LDL-C particles are predominantly small and dense have a threefold greater risk of coronary heart disease. Furthermore, the large and fluffy type of LDL-C may actually be protective. Studies indicate carbohydrate restriction positively affects particle size by reducing the number of very small and small LDL particles.
- LDL Particle Number (LDL-P) Will Improve
Blood levels of LDL-P are strongly associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease and some studies indicate that LDL-P may be a stronger predictor of risk than the commonly used LDL-cholesterol. LCHF diets appear to significantly reduce LDL-P.
- Insulin Resistance Will Be Reduced
Insulin resistance is common in individuals with the metabolic syndrome and is strongly related abnormal lipid profile. There appears to be an association between insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate that carbohydrate restriction significantly lowers insulin resistance compared to a low-fat diet.
- Insulin Levels Will Drop
High levels of insulin are associated with insulin resistance. Hyperinsulinemia (high levels of insulin in the blood) appears to be an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease. Therefore, lowering insulin levels may be beneficial. Carbohydrate restriction has been shown to significantly decrease insulin levels.
- C-reactive Protein Will Be Reduced
C-reactive protein (CRP) can be measured in blood and is a known marker of inflammation. CRP, in particular, high sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) has been associated with cardiovascular risk. There is evidence that carbohydrate restriction lowers the level of CRP, which may indicate that LCHF diets can reduce inflammation.
During the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, nibbling on chocolates, sugar cookies, and pumpkin pie seems to be a way of life.
The good news is it may not be as bad as you think. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average American gains about 1 pound during the winter holiday season, far less than the 5 to 8 pounds commonly believed.
The problem is that people often don’t lose the weight, and it can add up over the years. Also, people who are overweight are more likely to gain as much as 5 pounds during the holidays, according to the NIH.
It’s perfectly fine — even healthy — to indulge during the holidays; just don’t go for broke. No matter what you do, don’t starve yourself or skip meals, because that only sets you up for grabbing the closest plate of brownies.
Here are 12 tips for keeping holiday weight gain under control:
- Plan ahead.Before you go out, slip a cheese stick and some almonds, or another healthy fats snack, into your purse (or bag) to fight off temptations.
- Be the slowest eater at the table. This will give you a chance to notice when you feel satisfied. Slow down by challenging yourself to chew each bite 20 times, putting your utensils down between bites, and taking 30 minutes per plate.
- Drink plenty of water.Be sure to drink a glass before the party to help fill you up.
- Bring your own healthy dish to the party so you know there’s at least one you can splurge on.
- Use a small plate so it looks full.
- Remember, you can eat whatever you’d like, as long as it’s in moderation.
- Ditch sweet drinks and consume alcohol in moderation, if at all. Choose sparkling water (sweetened with a little stevia or erythritol) with citrus slices in stemware for no-calorie bubbly.
- Don’t hang out by the buffet table. Chatting beside it will only tempt you to graze.
- Go small. Many desserts are being made in bite-sized portions now, which is fantastic for getting the sweet cravings fix while keeping the portion size in check.
- Before going back for seconds, wait 20 minutes for your food to “settle.” You might feel full and lose interest in more munching.
- Find ways to exercise every day. If exercise is hard to fit in with a busy holiday schedule, try the 10×10 rule: fit in 10 minutes twice a day for a total of 20 minutes per day.
- Incorporate daily stress relievers like exercise, journaling and meditation — and avoid waiting until the last minute for gifts and preparations. Consider making a list of the traditions you love, and it’s OK to say no and skip some festivities to avoid over-scheduling yourself.