How Does a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Burn Fat?
In the early 1990s, nutrition and diet went through a "you are what you eat" period in the media. "Fat breeds fat!" they told us simply. We were encouraged to eat without abandon; as long as, it wasn't a lipid. Simple and complex carbohydrates were deemed safe for the pound conscious. The problem was, with all of the talk about eliminating fat, dieters were getting fatter. Researchers have since discovered that the formula isn't so simple. Body fat doesn't just come from our fat intake but is based on other factors such as our overall caloric intake and our insulin levels. As a result, our relationship with carbs, once again, came into question. We wondered if our breads and our baked potatoes and pasta were actually betraying us. Nutrition authors and physicians were now promoting a low-carbohydrate diet as a way to burn fat.
Carbohydrates, scientifically named saccharides, are starch and sugar substances. They are also found in plant form as cellulose. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple (the sugar in fruits, bread, pasta and refined-sugar products) and complex (those found in veggies and brown rice). They are used in our diet to give us energy and are a fundamentally positive source of nutrition. However, there exists two factors which cause fat gain. The first is that carbohydrates tend to be higher in calories and the second is the way in which our bodies process them. Once simple and complex carbs reach our liver and are turned into glucose, our pancreas begins to produce insulin to absorb the carbohydrates. When this happens, our bodies stop burning fat for energy and start burning glucose: thus, ending the fat-burning process.
A low-carb diet entails limiting the amount of carbohydrates of any kind to less than 30 grams per day. With this low level of sugars, less insulin is produced and less glucose is available to burn for energy. With its source of fuel diminished, the body will enter a phase called ketosis. Meaning, it will begin to produce ketones which burn stored-body fat. The jury is still out when it comes to the total overall healthfulness of a diet that condones fat and restricts carbohydrates at an extreme level. A healthy diet consists of many elements. Body fat is most certainly one of these elements but there is also heart health, muscular composition and digestive condition to consider. With that said, dieters concerned solely with the burning of fat may find that a low-carb diet can be ultimately successful.