How do low-carb diets work?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, low-carb diets work by limiting carbohydrate intake to such an extent that the body is forced to respond to the deprivation by altering its metabolic functioning and switching into a modified state known as ketosis. This operational mode tells the body that since it doesn't have carbohydrates available to burn for fuel, it must begin burning fat stores as an energy source.

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Full Answer

There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding the topic of low-carb diets. They have been proven effective for weight loss. However, WebMD notes that nutritional experts cannot seem to agree on whether or not these types of high-fat, high-protein diets are actually safe for the body. Advocates point to ancient cultures as proof that ketosis is the body's natural state, arguing that humans ate mainly meat before the invention of agriculture and food processing.

Critics warn that low-carb diets are nutritionally deficient and don't allow for the appropriate amount of fruit and vegetable intake, however, this is a common misconception. Most low-carb diets actually encourage people to eat low-carb fruits and vegetables such as berries and greens. There are concerns among health officials that low-carb diets may contribute to high cholesterol levels, kidney problems and osteoporosis, but none of these claims have been scientifically proven, according to WebMD.

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