What do you want in a diet? Most of us want a plan that will promote health while resulting in safe, effective, permanent weight loss. And although the ultimate answer as to the best diet plans remains to be determined, research increasingly shows that low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diets are more effective than high carb low fat plans.
Low carb diets have been shown to:
- Reverse metabolic syndrome.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Improve blood sugar levels.
- Burn fat faster.
- Shed pounds more rapidly.
- Curb hunger.
- Promote brain health.
What are the best books for guiding you on your way? We recommend starting with "Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It" (click for details). If you're familiar with the premises of low carb diets and want to learn more about what's involved in ketogenic weight loss plans, get "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable."
We mentioned promoting brain health as one of the benefits. For a fascinating discussion of the impact of sugar and carbs on your brain and the multiple benefits of LCHF diets, get noted neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, author of "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers" (click for details).
Here's what Dr. Perlmutter says: "When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. "
And the rewards of that shift are multiple, he adds: "Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar and liver glycogen are no longer present, and our system resorts to using ketones for fuel. At this point, not only is our body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up our brain! We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel."
The key: Derive "80-90% of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and proteins. It may sounds crazy, but just remember: you’re burning those fats off, and building your brain power in the process," says Dr. Perlmutter.
The high fat low carb ketogenic Atkins diet takes a different approach to defining the goal of ketosis: "To a person longing to lose weight, Nirvana is the definition of lipolysis: the process of dissolving fat."
And what does that mean? " Lipolysis simply means that you’re burning your fat stores and using them as the source of fuel they were meant to be. The by-products of burning fat are ketones. When your body releases ketones—which it will do in your breath and your urine—it is chemical proof that you’re consuming your own stored fat. Once more, for emphasis: When a person on a safe, controlled carbohydrate plan such as Atkins is releasing ketones, he or she is in the fat-dissolving state of lipolysis. This process is simply the most efficient path ever devised for getting you slim. And the more ketones you release, the more fat you have dissolved," emphasizes the Atkins company experts.
Books describing the Atkins diet, which includes phases of controlled carbohydrates, include "New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great" (click for details) and "The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook: 200 Simple and Delicious Low-Carb Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less (Touchstone Book)."
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