Health Benefits of a Low Carb Diet

Health Benefits of a Low Carb Diet

It is a common misunderstanding, even among health professionals, that low-carb diets are somehow bad for health. People who make such claims obviously haven’t bothered to check out the research.

Their main argument is that low-carb diets are bad because they’re high in saturated fat, which raises cholesterol and causes heart disease.

But recent research suggests that there is nothing to worry about. Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the “bad” cholesterol from small, dense LDL (very bad) to large LDL which is benign (38, 39, 40Trusted Source, 41Trusted Source).

The fact is that saturated fat does not cause heart disease. This is simply a myth that has never been proven (42Trusted Source, 43, 44Trusted Source).

Low-carb diets actually lead to more weight loss and further improvements in risk factors compared to a low-fat diet (45, 46).

Body fat: A low-carb diet, eaten until fullness, usually causes more fat loss than a low-fat diet that is calorie restricted (47, 48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source).
Blood sugar: One of the hallmarks of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome is an elevated blood sugar, which is very harmful over the long term. Low-carb diets lower blood sugar (50Trusted Source, 51, 52Trusted Source, 53, 54Trusted Source).
Blood pressure: If blood pressure is high, it tends to go down on a low-carb diet (55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source).
High triglycerides: These are fats that circulate around in the blood and are a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Low-carb diets lower triglycerides much more than low-fat diets (58Trusted Source, 59Trusted Source, 60Trusted Source).
HDL (the good) cholesterol: Generally speaking, having more of the “good” cholesterol means you have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Low-carb diets raise HDL cholesterol much more than low-fat diets (61Trusted Source, 62Trusted Source).
sdLDL (the bad) cholesterol: Low-carb diets cause LDL cholesterol to change from small, dense LDL (bad) to large LDL, which is benign (63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source).
Easier: Low-carb diets appear to be easier to stick to than low-fat diets, probably because it isn’t necessary to count calories and be hungry, which is arguably the worst side effect of dieting (65Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).
The statements above have been shown to be true in randomized controlled trials – scientific studies that are the gold standard of research.

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