Friday, 17 March 2017

Ten benefits of a low carbohydrate diet

1. You will lose weight. Scientific studies and years of experience have shown that weight loss will occur on a Low carbohydrate, high fat diets (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.

2. Blood sugar will improve. Studies have shown that low carbohydrate diets reduce levels of fasting glucose and glycohemoglobin. This may be beneficial, in particular if you have diabetes or prediabetes, which is quite common among individuals with the metabolic syndrome.

3. 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 in individuals with overweight or obesity.

4. 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
5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.
Thus, scientific studies indicate that LCHF diets may have several health benefits for people with overweight, obesity or other signs of the metabolic syndrome.

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