What are the benefits of a low carb diet?
One of the main benefits of a low carb diet is the lack of sugar. In a nutshell, eating sugar causes blood sugar fluctuations, causing your energy levels to suddenly increase and then drop down.This can cause mood swings, low energy levels and fatigue. High sugar levels are also linked to inflammation and chronic disease.
Ever noticed feeling tired after eating pasta? And how do children behave after eating sugar? Totally hyper and then miserable! Ever felt hangry after a high carb meal?
When there is excess sugar in your blood, your body triggers an insulin release. Insulin is the hormone which rushes around the body with the aim of cleaning up sugar in the blood stream and transporting this sugar energy (glucose) to wherever it needs to go. Insulin transports sugar to be used as energy, to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles or to the fat cells to be stored as fat.
Stabilise Blood Sugar Levels
A high sugar meal causes an equally high insulin release which can drop blood sugar levels down too rapidly which signals to the brain that you need more energy and this process can make you hangry, grumpy and snackish even if you don’t actually need any extra energy. You are then caught in a cycle of increasing and decreasing blood sugar and insulin levels. Not only does this cause unstable mood it can also encourage weight gain.
However, after eating a lower carbohydrate, healthy fat meal, your blood sugar levels are more stable, as smaller amounts of insulin are released. When you consume less sugar, the need for insulin is decreased. This means you feel fuller for longer, will not suffer mood and energy fluctuations, you can concentrate better and you will start burning fat for fuel, instead of sugar. This is what we call ‘ketosis’. When you switch from burning carbohydates (sugar) to fat (ketones) for energy
Fat for Fuel. What?
Yes, we are designed to burn both glucose (sugar and carbohydrates) as well as ketones (fat) for energy. When you run out of sugar in the bloodstream and body, then your body switches to burning fat, this is called ketosis, not to be confused with ketoacidosis. This can be fat that you ate or your body fat depending on how much you have eaten.
You can find out more about ketones and the benefits of ketosis here.
It is the small changes you make that can have a huge impact on your family’s health. Food is not a religion!
Remember, you do not need to be low carb for every single meal. Even if you just swap some of your meals for low carb, yourself and your family will benefit tremendously. Simply see how you all feel on low carb meals and then decide which meals you want to continue making.
How do you know when a fat is healthy?
When you switch to a higher fat diet It is important to consider the quality of fats you are eating.
Butter, coconut oil, ghee and lard are saturated fat as and are the healthiest oils for cooking with as they are saturated fats which are stable under heat. This means that their chemical structure does not change under heat.
Cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Avocado Oil are delicious for using as salad dressing and pouring onto a cooked meal.Avoid vegetable oils, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and margarine. These are toxic, hydrogenated and trans fats.
What makes a fat turn bad?
It is extremely damaging for you to consume vegetable oils that have been heat processed as this distorts their chemical structure.
These are ‘degraded’ and oxidative fats. Essentially, they make you rust from the inside out. These fats include ALL heat processed vegetables and seed oils. Unless the packaging clearly says ‘Cold Pressed’, do NOT touch them. Learn more about healthy fats here.
What benefits have you experienced on a low carb diet? Download your free ketogenic meal plans here.