What is a Low Carb Diet Plan?

Article Details
  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

A low carb diet plan is an effective way to lose weight by reducing the number of carbs or carbohydrates that are consumed each day. Foods that have a high number of carbohydrates, such as bread, rice, candy, soda, and potatoes, are usually restricted or eliminated from the diet. In most cases, the low carb diet plan encourages people to exchange foods that are high in carbohydrates with foods that are higher in protein or fat, such as cheese or meat.

Generally, a low carb diet plan is effective because it restricts carbohydrate consumption to 20 to 60 grams each day. As a result of the reduced carbohydrates, the number of calories that are consumed are also reduced. This reduced calorie consumption causes dieters to lose weight, sometimes rapidly.

While there are some plans that instruct dieters to avoid all carbohydrates, some low carb diet plans allow dieters to eat foods that are low in carbohydrates, such as certain vegetables. For example, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, and mushrooms are all considered to be low carbohydrate vegetables. In the alternative, carrots, corn, potatoes, and beets all have more naturally occurring sugars or carbohydrates and are typically avoided. Since fruit is higher in carbohydrates, the consumption of fruit is often discouraged in the early stages of many diet plans as well.


The first well-known low carb diet plan was released in 1967 when The Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet was written by Dr. Irwin Stillman. His popular diet plan led to many other fad diet plans, each with its own low carb diet plan books, cookbooks, and pocket guides. Often the plans are supplemented by guidance through discussion forums, weblogs, and support groups on the Internet as well.

Although low carb diet plans have been popular methods of weight-loss for years, they have faced controversy. For example, many doctors and scientists in the medical community frown upon diets that encourage excess protein and fat consumption. They believe that consuming high-fat meats and cheeses can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and may cause liver, kidney, and heart problems.

Nutritionists also say that carbohydrates are not necessarily bad. In fact, the United States Institute of Medicine recommends that most individuals consume 130 grams of carbohydrates per day, unless the person is pregnant or breastfeeding, then the number is much higher. Carbohydrates energize the body. Complex carbohydrates, such as beans, nuts, and whole grains are good for you. Some simple carbohydrates, such as fruit and milk, may be good to consume, too.

The problem arises when people consume simple carbohydrates in the form of candy, cookies, and other sweets. These items may cause weight gain, heart conditions, and diabetes. As expected, they should be consumed in moderation. For many people, if they avoid sugar-filled snacks and drinks, they can lose weight without following a low carb diet plan.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?