What Is a Low-Carbohydrate High-Fat Diet?

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  • Written By: Kelly Ferguson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2019
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A low-carbohydrate high-fat diet is a diet that aims to help dieters lose body fat without increasing cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Many people considering following a low-carbohydrate high-fat diet are intrigued by the claims of healthy weight loss despite the somewhat controversial method. While many scientific studies seem to point to fatty foods as the culprit behind high cholesterol and obesity levels, others support the idea that cutting out carbohydrates will solve these problems, even if the diet is full of fatty foods normally considered to be unhealthy. Low-carbohydrate high-fat diets are based on the findings of the latter group of scientific studies. It has not been determined completely whether a low-carbohydrate high-fat diet is healthier or less healthy than traditional diets.

One example of a low-carbohydrate high-fat diet is the Atkins diet. On diets such as this one, carbohydrate intake is extremely limited, while protein and fat intake are increased to make up the difference. Some diets attempt to increase the protein intake more dramatically than the fat intake in an attempt to promote muscle building and make the the diet seem less unhealthy. A low-carbohydrate high-fat diet, on the other hand, supports the idea that increased fat intake can actually improve cardiovascular health for a number of reasons.


Along with the claims of improving heart health, low-carbohydrate high-fat diets also have some appeal simply because of the foods the diet allows. When most people cringe at the word diet, it is probably because they are thinking of eating nothing but salads, vegetables, and white meat chicken. Many dieters jump at the chance to experiment with any diet that would allow them to eat bacon, red meat, and cheese with no worries.

For some people who have diseases related to insulin resistance, such as diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cutting out carbohydrates may have very beneficial effects. Consuming foods high in carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates especially, can quickly raise the blood sugar, which triggers insulin to be released to lower the blood sugar again and return it to normal. This is a problem for people with insulin resistance, who need progressively more and more insulin to accomplish this task. This can cause various health issues and permanent damage to the body. By avoiding carbohydrates, people with insulin resistance may be able to prevent the spike in blood sugar and break the cycle altogether.



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