All low carb diets are not created equal. Many people understand the importance of losing weight to improve health markers and lower risk from heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer, but the type of diet they choose is just as important as the weight loss itself. There’s no shortage of diet plans and pills which promise to trim excess pounds quickly and efficiently. But at what cost to your health?
Low Carb, Animal Protein Diet Increases Disease Risk
One of the most popular diet programs over the past quarter century is the Atkins plan, which severely limits vegetables and fruits in favor of plenty of beef, processed meats and dairy. Initially people lose weight because of the drastically limited carbohydrates, but in the long run most people find the diet difficult to maintain for a lifetime.
Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicates that a low carb diet high in animal protein and low in fresh vegetables contributes to increased risk for cancer and death, though they didn’t specifically name any particular plans. Further, the study indicated that eating a vegetable based low carb diet had just the opposite effect, lowering the risk for heart disease and death rate. Whether your goal is weight loss or improved health, making the switch to a veggie based diet will have a profound effect on longevity.
Kicking the Sugar Habit
Regardless of which low carb variant diet you choose, vegetable or animal based, sugar and refined carbohydrates are minimized or eliminated which is an important benefit of both plans. Sugar wreaks havoc in the body, disrupting metabolism and causing insulin resistance and blood sugar spikes. Additional damage results when the sticky sugar molecules bind with proteins, causing them to become non-functional.
The low carb way of life is important to your health and assists weight loss by keeping metabolic markers in check, allowing stored fat to be converted for use as energy. The problem arises when large quantities of calories from animal and processed meat sources are added to the diet. Excess protein is very difficult for the body to break down and results in large quantities of waste which begins to accumulate within the cells.
Go With a Low Carb Vegetable Based Diet
The best diet for both weight loss and reduction of heart disease risk is a low carb, vegetable based plan that includes copious amounts of fresh greens and veggies, nuts, seeds, omega-3 fats and limited protein from white meats. Some meat is necessary in the diet, and turkey and chicken show no correlation with increased risk of disease.
Man has evolved to eat vegetables of all types, as well as some meat. The problem is that our evolutionary meat source has not been corn fed and confined to a stall, but rather the free range variety allowed to graze on natural grass and grains. Modern meats provide an insult to our metabolism, and along with nitrite impregnated processed meats rapidly lead to the development of heart disease and certain cancers.
Choosing the correct type of low carb diet to follow will have a significant impact on your overall health, and ability to achieve your weight loss goal. While a diet high in animal protein and low in carbs may initially assist weight loss, long term it’s been shown to increase mortality from all causes. Follow a plant based low carb diet to naturally reach your weight loss goal and benefit from sustained health and longevity.