Whatever you eat or drink is digested. During digestion the food and drink breaks down into components and is absorbed by the body as carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, fats and minerals. Everything ingested is converted to glucose or sugar in your body. To perform daily functions the cells in our body use glucose for energy. Glucose is basically blood sugar. The blood sugar levels rise and fall as the food is digested. Ideally the body should maintain a good glucose/cortisol/insulin balance for a well regulated blood sugar level.
Low carbohydrate diets or low-carb diets are just dietary programs that check the carbohydrate consumption. Such programs are usually recommended for treatment of obesity or weight control. Food which are high in digestible carbohydrates (e.g. pasta, breads) are substituted with foods containing a higher percentage of fats and proteins (e.g. soy products, meats) and by other foods which are low in carbohydrates (e.g. green leafy vegetables). Nowadays a lot of attention is devoted to low-carb/high protein diets – such as Atkins, South Beach, the Zone and Sugar Busters. These diets are preferred over the more traditional weight-loss diets that limit fats and carbohydrates. However, some studies clearly illustrate that people do lose weight by following these new age diets in the short term but the question still remains as to whether they are able to maintain their health and weight-loss over a period of time.
Poor diet, emotional stress, lack of rest and lack of exercise are some of the many factors that cause an imbalance of the blood sugar system. Some typical symptoms of blood sugar imbalance are fatigue, food cravings, drowsiness and increased appetite. Cortisol and an excess of insulin in the blood is the cause of these symptoms. Hypoglycemia (blood sugar too low), hyperglycemia (blood sugar too high) and dysglycemia (blood sugar too low and too high) are the types of sugar imbalances. All of them can be dealt with in a few weeks time.
The biggest advantage of low-carb diet is that it eradicates or severely controls refined carbohydrates such as cookies, pasta, doughnuts, white bread and soda. These foods simply add to calories and lack necessary nutritional value besides giving the body a sugar shock. Further, your blood triglyceride levels also increase due to these foods.
With a low-carb diet you can lose weight but you also lose some water weight. Your appetite decreases as you eat fewer calories because of the limits in the diet. Substances called ketones build up in the blood as your appetite decreases. However, you can track a low-carb diet and not intensify the health risks if you make common sense alterations to the diet itself. It is important to remember that all low-carb diets are not good and if you are pursuing a low-carb diet which is heavy on cream, cheeseburgers, butter and bacon and low in fruits, whole grains and vegetables then it can endanger your long-term health. However, if you combine the best practices of low-fat diets with the best practices of low-carb diets, you will lose weight and at the same time moderate the risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease and kidney problems.
No one diet plan fits all. But by formulating healthy food choices, eating reasonable portions and being physically active you can accomplish and retain a healthy weight.