Nutrition

Very Low-Carb Diets: Not Just For Weight Loss?

Low-carb: the diet that’s officially split the nation.

Some swear by low-carbohydrate diets, reporting that, as well as weight loss, they’ve experienced better control over their snacking while still being able to enjoy endless amounts of delicious food like bacon, butter and avocados (where do we sign up?). Others report slashed energy levels on a low-carb diet and maintain that eating a lot of fat is disastrous for heart health.

However, new scientific research has shown that type 1 diabetes patients may be able to improve blood-sugar control whilst following a very low-carbohydrate diet.

Reported in the Pediatrics journal, participants who were consuming an average of 36g of carbohydrates per day (or about 5% of total daily calories) reported blood sugar levels closer to the normal level. They also reported that they required less insulin than usual, and that they had better measures of insulin sensitivity.

chicken meal prep

Carb Controversy

But, before you go throwing away all of your bread and rice and run to replace them with lard and boiled chicken, consider this: not all carbs are necessarily the enemy.

In fact, it’s well-known that carbs are the most efficient source of energy, and that without them, your workouts, recovery, and muscle growth could be the first to suffer. Replenishing your muscle’s glycogen stores after a tough workout is especially important to prevent breakdown of amino acids in the muscles and speed up muscle-protein synthesis.

However, eating a lot of high-sugar and high-glycaemic index foods (often referred to as ‘impact carbs’) at the wrong times can send your diet out of control, with tough-to-control cravings and killer sugar crashes to follow – not to mention the excess calories that sugary foods deliver.

Related: What are Impact Carbs?

Now, we’re not saying that low-carb or ketogenic diets don’t have their place. In fact, anecdotal and some scientific evidence suggests that they could be a good choice for some – but they’re not the alpha and omega. We’ve been eating carbs for centuries with very few problems up until now, and the majority of serious lifters swear by them. Our advice? Dodge the sugary foods and go for foods with few impact carbs the keep your blood sugar firmly within your own control.


 

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Carb Crusher | Consider Cravings Crushed

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2018-05-23 18:12:04By Jennifer Blow

Nutrition

What Are Impact Carbs?

2018-05-23 11:00:53By Simon Cushman

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.


Lennerz, B. S., Barton, A., Bernstein, R. K., Dikeman, R. D., Diulus, C., Hallberg, S., … & Ludwig, D. S. (2018). Management of Type 1 Diabetes With a Very Low–Carbohydrate Diet. Pediatrics, e20173349.

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Jennifer Blow

Jennifer Blow

Editor & Qualified Nutritionist

Jennifer Blow is our UKVRN Registered Associate Nutritionist – the UK’s register of competent and qualified nutrition professionals. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutritional Science and a Master’s of Science by Research in Nutrition, and now specialises in the use of sports supplements for health and fitness, underpinned by evidence-based research.

Jennifer has been quoted or mentioned as a nutritionist in major online publications including Vogue, Elle, and Grazia, for her expertise in nutritional science for exercise and healthy living.

Her experience spans from working with the NHS on dietary intervention trials, to specific scientific research into omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and also the effect of fast foods on health, which she has presented at the annual Nutrition Society Conference. Jennifer is involved in many continuing professional development events to ensure her practise remains at the highest level. Find out more about Jennifer’s experience here.

In her spare time, Jennifer loves hill walking and cycling, and in her posts you’ll see that she loves proving healthy eating doesn’t mean a lifetime of hunger.


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