One of the most important benefits of controlling carbs even if you have normal weight is the prevention of future health challenges. Practicing prevention means you decrease the risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, several cancers and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Being aware of the relationship between these conditions and consuming carbohydrates will help you stay healthy; waiting until you get sick may result in the need to take meds, perhaps for the rest of your life.
When you control carbs, you address the underlying cause of the condition instead of taking medication to suppress symptoms. Whether you are overweight, obese or want to invest in a healthier future for yourself and your family, a low-carb lifestyle can go a long way to support you. It can also decrease your need for many medications for conditions that are lifestyle related and save you and our country exploding healthcare costs.
Here are some thoughts to help your awareness:
- If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you are at risk of developing this condition even if you are not obese.
- Certain medical conditions are related to insulin resistance, the beginning stage of type 2 diabetes. Following the typical Western diet is enough over time to put you at risk even at a normal weight.
- Conditions related to insulin resistance include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), metabolic syndrome, belly fat deposition and gestational diabetes.
- One stage of blood sugar dysfunction is unstable blood sugar. This can follow the consumption of too many carbs causing an abnormal rise in the blood sugar level. Several hours later there is often a rapid drop in blood sugar level as insulin kicks in. A too low or too rapid drop in blood sugar level triggers stress hormones attempting to bring the blood sugar back to a normal level, resulting in several unpleasant symptoms. Many people have fluctuations several times a day, often leading to prescription medication to stop the symptoms. Symptoms can be mood swings, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, decreased concentration, fluctuations in energy levels, sleep disturbances, hunger, cravings, irregular heartbeats, palpitations and tremors of the hands, to name just a few. Once again, if meds are prescribed to stop the symptoms, the underlying cause is still present. Controlling carbs can mitigate many of these symptoms. Keep in mind that an unstable blood sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes.
- The consumption of sugary drinks and foods along with the highly processed items that are an all too frequent part of our diet also contain high omega 6 vegetable oils, increasing chronic low-grade inflammation. Inflammation is an underlying cause of many illnesses including vascular disease, cancers, Alzheimer’s and ageing. A frequent experience in people following a low carb ketogenic diet is improvement in joint pain, GERD, skin conditions and other inflammatory conditions.
- A low-carb diet causes most lab values to improve, including blood sugar level, insulin imbalance, A1C, triglyceride/ HDL ratios (an important cardiovascular risk value), inflammatory markers such as hs-CRP. LDL (“bad” cholesterol) can rise in some people, but LDL particle size improves.