Dieta low-carb: pro e contro di diminuire i carboidrati

The Low-Carb Diet: Pros, Cons, and How It Works

The premise remains the same: we talk about different types of dietary regimes and nutritional trends for informational purposes only, without promoting or judging them, based on reliable sources. So, even in the case of the low-carb diet, we will try to explain what it is, its pros, and cons.

What is the Low-Carb Diet?

Low-carb literally means "low in carbohydrates." Therefore, the low-carb diet is a dietary regime that relies on the daily consumption of minimal doses of carbohydrates, favoring proteins and fats as macronutrients.

It can be said to be the macro-container that encompasses various more specific diets, such as the protein diet, the ketogenic diet, or the paleo diet, all united by a reduced introduction of carbohydrates into the body.

In practice, the principle of this diet is that the body reacts to the lack of carbohydrates by tapping into reserves for enough energy. This means glycogen (glucose "stored" in the liver) and, subsequently, lipids, the reserve fat accumulated in the body.

What to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet

Those following this dietary regime typically consume less than 100g of carbohydrates per day, which is quite low: about 15% of daily carbs compared to the roughly 55% recommended in a balanced "normal" diet like the Mediterranean diet.

What to eat, then? It is necessary to favor protein sources such as white meat, dairy products, fish, and eggs, and fat sources such as nuts and avocado. It's challenging to follow a vegan diet that is also low-carb, as grains and fruits are primarily composed of carbohydrates.

These should not be completely eliminated, of course, but chosen wisely, favoring foods with a low glycemic index that also provide fiber, such as whole grains.

Pros and Cons of a Low-Carb Diet

Following a diet that strongly limits entire categories of nutrients for long periods is inherently unhealthy. It's always better to follow a varied and balanced diet.

Some studies from Harvard and the Laparoscopic Surgery Department of the Hospital of Turin have shown that the low-carb diet can be useful in extreme cases of obesity and related cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, it allows for effective and rapid weight loss, also lowering blood sugar and triglycerides. However, these are extreme cases to be followed under strict medical supervision.

In general, carbohydrates should never be demonized; on the contrary, they are the fuel for our brain, and depriving oneself of them can lead to mood swings, confusion, and poor concentration.

Consuming too many proteins and fats to compensate for the calories not introduced with carbohydrates is also not good in the long run, as it can strain the kidneys and liver.

Moderation and being followed by a good, experienced nutritionist are always the best ways to find the right diet for oneself, which, if balanced, can become a truly healthy lifestyle.

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