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Eating Low Carb and the Keto Diet
It is no secret that carbohydrates are one of the worst things you can put into your body in large amounts. While your body does in fact, need carbs to function properly, many of us tend to overload ourselves on this nutrient. This is due to the fact that carbs are found in numerous common food items. For instance, foods like white rice, white bread, potato chips, potatoes, crackers etc. are all rich in carbohydrates. With the holidays coming up, many of the foods we traditionally eat are also full of carbs. Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight and get in shape, I suggest you eat low-carb. Perhaps you might feel adventurous even attempt going keto! It is one of the few diets that truly works!
The Low Down and Dirty on Carbs
Much like with other foods and nutrients, there are good and bad carbs out there. Therefore, choosing which carbs to put in your body and what to eat can sometimes prove to be a difficult case. That is where good carbs come in place – even on the keto diet. Some foods with good, wholesome carbs include:
- Whole grains like pure oats, and quinoa
- Brown rice
- Whole fruits like apples, strawberries, pears, and bananas
- Nuts and seeds
These are considered to be good carbs because they do not raise your blood glucose too quickly while bad carbs do. On the other hand, bad carbs such as bread, cookies, and sugary soft drinks WILL cause your blood glucose to rise, and quite quickly. This is the reason why professionals advise lowering your daily amount of calorie intake from carbs. Typically, 55% of our daily calorie intake comes from the carbs we eat. Processed and other bad carbs to be avoided include:
- White sugar
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
- Confectioner’s sugar
While large amounts of processed carbohydrates can have a negative impact on your health, there are ways to minimize any health risk related to carb intake. All we must do is limit the number of processed carbs we take in that actually take away from the beneficial fiber within our bodies. Again—think white bread, rice…
On the flip sign of the coin, it is possible to construct a positive relationship with carbs that provide you with large amounts of fiber. A big part of this is knowing exactly which foods to eat. Why is this a good thing? Well, many people who seek information on low carb diets are looking to lose weight. It is relatively impossible, however, to accomplish this task without a good portion of fiber in our diets each day.
What Do Carbohydrates Do to Our Bodies?
For starters, carbs give us energy allowing to us get through our day to day lives. Additionally, they give our bodies the ability to complete our very basic functions. While there are many carbs out there without so much of a nutritional value, the most notable nutrition less is sugar. And that is its own battle. After all, our bodies can only handle too much of it. Complex or good carbs are comprised of long chains of molecules which in turn take longer to break down inside the body. In this way, sugar is no longer merely dumped right into the bloodstream. When it is absorbed in this slower fashion, we continuously receive a much steadier flow of energy.
Carb infused foods begin breaking down immediately upon their journey in our mouths. This is made possible thanks to the use of our salivary enzymes. The process of breaking down these carbs then continues on in the depths of our bellies, almost mechanically churning within our bellies. Our stomachs use digestive enzymes hand-in-hand with B vitamins to digest these carbs. Last but not least, it makes it to its simplest form—glucose. Once the breakdown process is complete, your body jumps into action, sending the glucose to the liver where it is distributed throughout the remainder of the body.
When most of your energy is coming from glucose, your body begins to use it for energy as we touched on prior. However, it also ends up getting stored in the liver like some type of reserve container. The bad news is, whatever is left over ends up being stored as fat. Too much glucose, sugar, and fat in our bodies pose the risk of causing diseases like diabetes and obesity.
Why the Keto Diet is the Best Low-Carb Diet
The New Year is approaching quickly, ushering in the yearly desire for change and a “new you” so to speak. With so many making New Year’s resolutions, considering the keto diet for the commitment to a low-carb lifestyle is a solid and promising plan that could change your life. Whether you are looking to lose weight or simply boost your current health, the keto diet hosts a slew of benefits that are certain to improve your physical and mental state.
The keto diet is similar to the Atkins Diet, and their similar models work great for weight loss for the majority of those who give it a shot. So, how does the keto diet work? When you are on the keto diet you are typically eating low amounts of carbs, with increased amounts of protein and an even larger amount of select healthy fats. After all, in order to burn fat, we must eat fat. The ultimate goal of the keto diet besides physical and mental health is of course weight loss. In order to achieve that goal, you must reach a state known as ketosis.
When your body enters into a state of ketosis, it is officially burning fat for energy instead of sugar/glucose. Not only does this provide longer-lasting energy throughout the day, but it also helps with eyesight and even diabetes. Ketosis can be reached naturally or through the addition of a new diet and accompanying supplementation. Just as protein shakes are all the rage these days, ketone or exogenous supplements can help kickstart your body, allowing for a much smoother, quicker transition into ketosis. Once you reach and maintain this goal, you should be able to effectively start working toward your overall health goals because a personal transition is on the horizon.
Low Carb/Keto for the WinAs time goes by, both humanity and the environment are consistently changing. One unfortunate relative fact here is that people only seem to be getting more and more out of shape—we included. It is truly a global epidemic that is threatening our health and making our lives more difficult. By opting for a low carb or keto lifestyle, you are officially taking the first step toward a new and better you. And with New Year’s approaching, there is no better time to make this pledge to yourself by accepting the keto challenge. The last thing you will do is regret it!