Fewer carbohydrates: Lose weight with low carb
Many people plan to lose weight at the turn of the year. The so-called “low carb diet” is very popular. Instead of foregoing fat, you avoid carbohydrates here. But is the effect sustainable? Is losing weight fast at all healthy?
Low carb is the trend
Many people want to start the new year by reducing their weight somewhat. Diets such as the Atkins diet are in vogue. Lots of meat, eggs, milk and cheese and hardly any carbohydrates: a diet based on the so-called low-carb principle. When asked whether less fat or fewer carbohydrates are suitable for losing weight quickly, scientific studies have repeatedly shown that low-carb does better than low-fat. It is clear that one can achieve a rapid weight loss by not consuming carbohydrates. However, it is controversial whether it is also healthy to remove bread, pasta and rice from the menu and to use fat or proteins.
“Fats and carbohydrates play the most important role in covering energy needs. A wholesome mixed diet should contain limited amounts of fat and more than 50% of the energy intake in the form of carbohydrates, ”writes the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) on its website.
On the other hand, Andreas Pfeiffer from the German Institute for Nutritional Research (DIfE) in Potsdam said in a message from the dpa news agency: "In principle, you can even live completely without carbohydrates because they are not essential."
For example, the Inuit, an indigenous people who mainly live in Canada, traditionally eat carbohydrates. They only consume proteins and fats.
For health reasons, low carb diets are usually not a good idea. So-called ketogenic diets are even more problematic. Refraining from carbohydrates can even affect life expectancy.
On the other hand, low-carb diets help to better control type 2 diabetes, as a study showed last year.
Do carbohydrates make you fat?
The question of whether carbohydrates make you fat is not that easy to answer. In a report by the "Rheinische Post" (RP), Andreas Pfeiffer from DIfE said: "It depends on which carbohydrates are eaten."
There are good and bad. The good or complex carbohydrates therefore consist of long chains of sugar components and are slowly digested. Therefore, the blood sugar level remains relatively stable and cravings are prevented. Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains, among other things.
The bad or simple carbohydrates, which consist of short sugar chains, are quickly digested and quickly enter the blood. The body has to release insulin in order to stabilize the blood sugar level, which rises quickly after consuming these carbohydrates, and finally to lower it again.
As explained in the RP report, this excess insulin can block fat burning and make you want sweets again. Simple carbohydrates are rare in natural foods, but are found in sweets, cakes and white bread, among other things.
Healthy energy suppliers
Low carb is not completely dispensed with carbohydrates, their amount is only reduced. Antje Gahl, ecotrophologist from the DGE, said according to the RP: "Depending on the individual case, the proportion varies between 20 and 45 percent." This should consist of good carbohydrates.
Healthy energy suppliers are primarily whole grain products such as whole grain bread, pasta or rice, but also legumes such as chickpeas, soybeans or lentils. "They provide a lot of fiber that will fill you up for a long time," says Pfeiffer.
According to the experts, pumpkin seeds, nuts, oatmeal or wheat bran are also recommended. While these foods also contain carbohydrates, they are complex. In addition, their share is small. "A piece of crumble cake, on the other hand, which consists mainly of flour, sugar and butter, provides a variety of simple, bad carbohydrates," explained Pfeiffer.
It depends on the overall balance
When asked whether "low carb" is good for losing weight, Ms. Gahl said: "It always depends on the total energy balance." not a gram.
"It's not enough with currywurst without fries," says Gahl. With a "low-carb diet" it is essential to take good fats. Pfeiffer recommends vegetable fats such as rapeseed or olive oil. According to the RP, the doctor said: "Tropical oils, i.e. coconut and palm oil, should be avoided." Because these contained too many saturated fatty acids.
In general, no more than 300 grams should be consumed per week, with fish and vegetables there is no restriction. Because of the fructose it contains, fruit should not exceed 300 grams per day. And beverages such as lemonades, fruit juices or alcoholic drinks should be taboo on the “low carb” menu. (ad)