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The low carb diet proposes to reduce the amount of carbohydrates ingested. In low carb methods, the macronutrient can make up between 45% to 5% of what is consumed in one day.

It is important to note that the extreme reduction of carbohydrates, something below 40%, even provides weight loss, but it will not be healthy and can have a series of serious health consequences. Carbohydrates include foods like rice, pasta, bread and potatoes.

In addition, this method advocates prioritizing the consumption of low glycemic index carbohydrates, those whose glucose (sugar) is absorbed at a slower speed and therefore there are no spikes in glucose or insulin in the body.

The consumption of whole foods that are rich in fiber is also encouraged in this method to lose weight. We talked to experts to understand what are the pros and cons of this regime.

How the low carb diet works?

This method contributes to healthy weight loss by suggesting that food prioritizes low glycemic index carbohydrates. This is because when a carbohydrate is ingested it has a glucose that will be used by the cell for energy.

If there is excess glucose, it is stored in the form of fat and if used before the next feeding, there is no weight gain. For the body to be able to burn the stored fat it is necessary to release a hormone called glucagon that will remove this stored energy.

When a diet is rich in foods with a high glycemic index, many insulin spikes occur and sometimes they are so high that glucagon is never released. Without glucagon the fat that is stored is not burned and there is no weight loss. Thus, when the diet prioritizes the ingestion of low glycemic index foods, there is a minor change in insulin and, consequently, glucagon production occurs. When there is a presence of fibers and proteins, the release of the hormone is also more effective.

Benefits of a low-carb diet:

Prevents diabetes: as this regime aims to eat only carbohydrates with low or moderate glycemic index, it can help prevent type 2 diabetes. This is because when eating carbohydrates of high glycemic index, there is an increase in the level of glucose in the blood and consequently that of insulin. The more insulin in the body, the more it becomes resistant to it and greater amounts of this hormone are needed to transport the same amount of glucose, increasing the risk of insulin resistance that can progress to type 2 diabetes.

It provides satiety: the best sources of carbohydrates are those that also have fiber, such as bread and brown rice. The substance prolongs the time that the food stays in the stomach and when it reaches the intestine the glucose absorption speed remains and thus there are no insulin spikes. In this way, fibers provide satiety.

Assists in weight loss: carbohydrates can be combined with weight loss when consumed correctly. It is important for the versions with low or moderate glycemic index, because, as already informed, they contribute to the burning of the body’s fat stock.

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