April 5, 2023
A low carb diet can improve blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and lead to weight loss. Learn about the benefits of a low carb diet and what to expect when you start one, including improved sleep and reduced joint pain.
When it comes to embarking on a low carbohydrate diet, there are a variety of changes that you can expect to experience. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common changes that people encounter when they reduce their carbohydrate intake.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels:
One of the most immediate benefits of a low carbohydrate diet is improved blood sugar control. This is particularly relevant for individuals with type 2 diabetes, as the majority of excess blood sugar in the body comes directly from carbohydrates. By reducing carbohydrate intake, blood glucose levels can drop rapidly, often overnight. In fact, research has shown that more than 50% of people can reverse their type 2 diabetes through following a low carbohydrate diet.
It is important to note, however, that if you are taking medication for your diabetes, you may need to reduce your dosage as your blood sugar levels improve. Certain medications such as insulin can cause blood sugar to drop too low, and close monitoring by your doctor is essential to ensure that medication doses are adjusted safely.
Lower Blood Pressure:
Another common benefit of a low carbohydrate diet is a reduction in blood pressure. While this is generally positive, it is important to monitor blood pressure medication closely, as reducing medication doses too quickly can cause blood pressure to drop too low, leading to dizziness or fainting. Additionally, dietary changes can also impact blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, which may require a change in dosage. It is important to speak with your doctor before making any changes to your medication regimen.
Many people who follow a low carbohydrate diet find that they no longer need to take medications for conditions such as reflux or heartburn. This is particularly relevant for those taking proton pump inhibitors, which research has shown can have negative long-term side effects, such as osteoporosis, pneumonia, and dementia. Reflux symptoms often improve rapidly with a low carbohydrate diet, with some studies even showing a reduction in acidity after just six days. However, it is important to gradually reduce medications under the guidance of your doctor, as sudden cessation can lead to a rebound increase in acid secretion.
One of the most well-known benefits of a low carbohydrate diet is weight loss. While results can vary, it is typical to see a weight loss of six to ten kilograms over the first three months of following the diet. It is important to note, however, that weight loss can slow as individuals approach a healthy weight, and it is not uncommon for weight to remain stable or even increase despite losing fat. This is because low carbohydrate diets can improve muscle and bone mass, which can offset the loss of fat.
Weight loss resulting from a low carbohydrate diet can also improve sleep quality, particularly for those with sleep apnea. This is because excess fat in the body can cause the tongue to enlarge, leading to airway blockages during sleep. Research has shown that weight loss can lead to a visible reduction in the size of the tongue, and many patients report being able to stop using their CPAP machines after losing weight on a low carbohydrate diet.
Reduced Joint Pain:
Finally, a low carbohydrate diet can lead to a reduction in joint pain, particularly in individuals with knee arthritis. Studies have shown that a 10% weight loss can reduce pain from knee arthritis by half, and many patients have been able to cancel joint replacement surgery after following a low carbohydrate diet.
In conclusion, a low carbohydrate diet can lead to a variety of benefits, including improved blood sugar control, lower blood pressure, and weight loss. However, it is important to work closely with your doctor to adjust medication doses and monitor any potential side effects, particularly if you are taking medication for diabetes or high blood pressure.