Why cut carbs?
Cutting carbohydrates naturally tends to lead to weight loss, because carbohydrates cause blood sugar to rise, resulting in insulin production. Higher insulin levels equate to more fat storage, leading to weight gain. By eating a lower carb diet, less insulin is produced, and therefore, less fat is stored.
Learn more about insulin resistance
But, how low should you go?
As a science driven program, the bistroMD team looks to research to determine what works for various health conditions, genders, ages and other factors. In fact, research shows that moderate carb diets are just as effective as ultra low carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet, while being more sustainable without all the struggle and sacrifice. Keep in mind, for those with diabetes, are pregnant, heavily active, or for members with chronic diseases and on medications, we recommend always discussing with your doctor first before making any extreme dietary changes.
See the Research
In a randomized clinical trial, researchers found that a group of women who followed a moderate carb diet of 15-25% carbs reduced body fat and waist circumference over 12 weeks similarly to another group of women who followed a ketogenic diet of 5% carbs. However, to no surprise the women who followed the moderate carb diet found it easier to stick to!2
In a 6 month study with type 2 diabetics, researchers found that a 20% carbohydrate diet resulted in a decrease in A1C after 3 months and maintained after 6 months. They also decreased weight, waist circumference, and total fat mass. The study concluded that reducing carb intake to 10-25% appears to be an effective and safe nutritional approach with respect to cardiovascular risk fats and hypoglycemia.3