The kind of food we eat as part of our diet is vital for the function of the body's organs, tissues, and immune system. Diets usually revolve around one central theory, which gives rise to the two kinds of diets that will be the point of focus of this article: low carb and low-fat diets. Health experts have been debating for ages about whether low carb or a low-fat diet is more effective and healthier for the human body. In this article, both diets will be discussed in detail to conclude which one is better.
As the name suggests, a low carb diet is a diet with low carbohydrate intake and higher consumption of fats and proteins. The idea behind this diet is that carbs are stored in organs close to the stomach after consumption; thus, it can lead to building up of fat in the torso. As a result, a low carb diet incorporating higher consumption of proteins and fat can minimize body fat giving rise to lower cholesterol levels, decreased blood sugar levels, and normal blood pressure. These health benefits can collectively reduce the risks of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and obesity. Utilization of proteins and fats in this diet can further diminish body fat while helping fulfill some of the nutritional needs of the body.
However, extreme cutting of carbs can cause mineral and vitamin deficiencies in the body, which may induce bone loss, gut problems, and immune system complications. Consuming less than 20 grams of carbs in a day could lead to ketosis – a process whereby the body is unable to supply enough glucose to cells in the body, causing a breakdown of fats to gain energy. Ketosis may appear to be good for the body, but it may not be the best thing for you. The process of ketosis creates an array of health issues, including nausea, headaches, fatigue, indigestion (leading to diarrhea or constipation), cramps, and skin rashes.
A low-fat diet is a diet that involves restrictions on the consumption of fats and cholesterol. The rationale supporting a low-fat diet is that less intake of saturated or trans fats and cholesterol can cut down weight and body, as well as avoid heart complications and diabetes. Consequently, a low-fat diet is recommended to people suffering from cardiovascular diseases or diabetes as it decreases the impact of both health issues. If you are making use of a low-fat diet, avoid eating foods labeled as 'fat-free' as these foods may not contain fat, but the lack of fats is substituted for high sugar, carb, and salt content. Thus they can worsen heart complications and increase body fat and weight. Instead of buying fat-free foods, try purchasing and eating food with good fats (unsaturated fats) in low quantities. Always read food labels before purchasing any food, as it can inform you which foods contain good fats in moderation.
On the flip side, low-fat diets can feel unsatisfying and unenjoyable since they lack a variety of foods and nutrients. In response to this, the body may prompt you to eat more to fill this void, hence reversing the effects of a low-fat diet.
In conclusion, a low-fat diet is better for heart and diabetes patients as it fixes some of the complications caused by both health problems. On the other hand, a low carb diet is a better diet for a person looking to minimize risks of potential diseases and conditions as it is better at regulating body fat and weight. Although with a low carb diet, additional care should be taken to avoid underconsumption of carbs so that a balanced diet that fulfills the basic nutritional needs can be maintained.