Benefits of carbohydrates and a low-carb diet
Carbs are the go-to energy source for your body. Your body stores carbohydrates as glycogen, which is stored in muscles and liver, and later used as a source of energy. Your body spares protein by using glucose as an energy source, and protein remains in charge of building your muscles.
A balanced diet entails carbohydrates to remain between 45-65 percent portion of your meal. A low-carbohydrate diet would mean keeping your carbohydrates portion in meals below 45 percent or between 10-25 percent.
A low-carb diet is typically preferred because, in the initial stages, it creates an illusion of weight loss. This is partly due to glycogen. Every glycogen molecule is bound to three molecules of water. As a result, reduced glycogen stores reflect on weight by causing a loss in water weight, and encourage you to continue with the low-carb diet. But this is merely an indication that your body is likely using protein to fuel your activities.
Getting started with a low-carb diet
As you cut down on carbohydrates, your body starts using protein as its source of energy, depleting your lean body muscles. This results in a loss of strength.
Picking the right carbohydrates is key. You could start by eliminating processed foods like savory snacks and aerated drinks, which contribute to fatty liver and raise your blood glucose levels to unhealthy heights (ultimately leading to diabetes and heart diseases).
Pick the right carbohydrates: whole foods like legumes, beans, sprouts, etc., and green vegetables, as they are rich in fibre. They do not cause a sudden spike in your blood glucose levels and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Whole fruits, and not juice, are healthy choices, too. Fibre and micronutrients are often lost in the process of juicing the fruit, which turns an otherwise nutritional fruit into a sugary drink.