The low carbohydrate (sugar) diet has been the subject of much controversy. However, one of the reasons cutting carbs is so popular is because it’s a quick way to shed pounds.
Sugars are the body’s main source of energy, as well as fuel for vital organs, such as the kidneys, central nervous system and brain. Healthy carbohydrates, such as so-called complex carbohydrates, are necessary for the optimal functioning of the body. Carbohydrates are broken down into a simple form of energy called glucose. The body uses insulin to transport glucose into cells. When too many carbohydrates are consumed, blood sugar levels skyrocket, insulin levels rise, and the result is often weight gain. In this article, we look at how much carbs a person needs to eat to lose weight, and whether a low carb diet is good for your health. We also take a look at the best and worst sources of carbs to consume.
What is a low sugar diet?
Low-carb diets can lead to rapid weight loss, but there could be side effects. Low-carb diets restrict the number of calories a person gets by limiting their food sources of carbohydrates. This includes good and bad carbs. To compensate, low-carb diets tend to be higher in protein and fat.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. If this intake is reduced, the body burns its reserves of proteins and fats to feed itself. Low-carb diets, such as the Atkins diet and the Dukan diet, provide rapid weight loss. However, these diets are extreme and can have unwanted side effects.
For most people, it may be healthier to take a more moderate approach by reducing carb intake to help with weight loss.
How many carbohydrates and calories should you eat to lose weight?
Although many studies indicate that low-carb diets promote rapid weight loss, this weight reduction is often short-lived. Recent research supports the idea that a quality diet is not just about controlling calories from carbohydrates. Instead, dieters need to pay attention to the amount of calories ingested from all food sources, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and strike a healthy balance.
In a recent study, people were observed on a diet to compare the different weight losses resulting from a low fat diet (LFD) and a low carbohydrate diet (LCD). The researchers found that after six months of the low-calorie diet, weight changes were similar in the LFD and LCD groups.
On average, an adult’s total daily calories come from the following sources:
Some nutritionists recommend a ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat as a goal for healthy weight loss. A 1,500 calorie diet with 40% carbs translates to 600 calories a day from carbs. Using a ratio of 4 calories per gram (g) of carbs, a person on this diet should eat 150g of carbs per day.
This 1,500 calorie diet would also include 450 calories or 112g of protein, and 450 calories or 50g of fat per day.
Carbohydrates 600 calories 150 g
Protein 450 calories 112g
Fats 450 calories 50 g
The exact distribution of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in grams can be calculated using websites dedicated to this calculation. You should also know that each person has slightly different needs when it comes to nutrients such as carbohydrates. Individuals’ specific needs vary based on their height, weight and activity level. A diet that works for one person will not necessarily work for another. It is therefore important to discuss any weight loss diet or calorie restriction with a doctor before starting.
Good carbs and bad carbs
Carbohydrates are important for health, as is maintaining a healthy weight. However, it is important to note that not all carbohydrates are the same. Carbohydrates are commonly referred to as “good carbs” or “bad carbs.” When trying to follow a healthy diet, and especially when trying to lose weight, carbohydrate consumption should prioritize good carbs over bad carbs.
The good carbohydrates
Fiber-rich vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, are an example of good carbs.
Good carbs are complex carbs, which means they’re high in fiber and nutrients and take longer to break down. Because they take longer to break down, they don’t cause blood sugar spikes or spikes too high.
Here are some examples of good carbs:
– whole fruits with skin
– whole grains
– fiber-rich vegetables, such as sweet potatoes
– beans and legumes rich in fiber
The Bad Carbs
Bad carbs are simple carbs that break down easily and cause blood sugar to spike quickly.
Here are some examples of bad carbs:
– white sugar, bread, pasta and flour
– sugary drinks and juices
– cakes, sweets and cookies
– other processed foods
Eating carbohydrates in their natural, fiber-rich form is good for your health. Processed foods high in white sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to weight gain. When counting calories from carbohydrates, ideal weight control can be achieved by observing a healthy ratio of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. The best way to lose weight is to combine diet, exercise, and behavior or lifestyle change. Dietitians can provide advice to anyone wishing to make changes to help them lose weight.
Anyone considering reducing their carb intake and eating more protein and fat should watch their saturated fat intake. Too much of these can increase cholesterol levels, as well as the risk of heart disease.
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