Low carb. High carb. No carb. With so much information on carbs available these days, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. If you're thinking about following a low-carb diet to help with weight loss, here are a few things you'll need to know to make choices that are right for you. Always be sure to talk with your health care professional before making any changes to your diet.
What are carbs?
Carbs, short for carbohydrates, are your body's main energy source. There are 2 kinds: complex and simple.
Complex carbohydrates include:
Legumes such as beans and lentils
Grains such as bread, pasta, and rice
Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and corn
Simple carbohydrates are sugars found mainly in fruits and milk. They also are found in foods such as candy and other sweets.
What is a low-carb diet?
Low-carb diets limit carbohydrates to one-fifth or less of your total daily calories. So if you are following a 2,000-calorie diet, that would mean getting no more than 400 calories from carbs each day.
In general, low-carb diets emphasize eating protein and fat. This includes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and nonstarchy vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. There are a variety of low-carb, high-fat diets available, including Atkins and Dr. Sears Zone diets. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about the benefits and risks of these diets. To search for low-carb recipes in MerckEngage, click here.
How low-carb diets can help with weight loss
Low-carb diets are generally used for weight loss. That is because low-carb diets help make you feel full. Low-carb diets tend to be higher in fat and protein. Both of these food groups take longer to digest than carbs do, which could explain why some people feel full longer.
Following a low-carb diet may help many people lose weight. But that does not mean it’s the right choice for everyone. Talk to your health care professional if you have any additional questions or concerns. Keep in mind that no one really knows the long-term health effects of low-carb diets. What we do know is that the healthiest diet is based on eating a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.
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