What is a low carb diet? | BARMER (2023)

Eat as much meat, fish and dairy products as you want and still get slimmer? That's what the so-called promiseLow Carb-Diets in which carbohydrates are largely avoided. while someLow Carbprograms actually promote a balanced diet, others are more detrimental to healthy weight loss.

how does one workLow Carb-Diet?

The term "Low Carb" comes from English and means "low carbs“. The German Society for Nutrition recommends a daily carbohydrate intake of 55 to 60 percent of the daily nutrient intake. 10 to 15 percent should be protein, 30 percent offFettconsist.

At aLow Carb-diet, the carbohydrate content is reduced to 15 to 30 percent (equivalent to about 100 to 120 grams per day). target ofLow CarbDieting is to stimulate the body to break down fat deposits by avoiding carbohydrates.

The principle behind it is called ketosis: the body prefers to use glucose, which it obtains from carbohydrates, to generate energy. The brain alone uses 120 grams of glucose daily. If fewer carbohydrates are available than the body needs for energy, the metabolism changes and after a few days it reaches the state of ketosis. Fats are converted into ketone bodies in the liver, which then provide the body with energy. This diet is designed to boost fat loss.

How strictly carbohydrate-containing foods are removed from the menu is ofLow Carbdiet tooLow Carbdiet different.

With moderate forms such as the LOGI diet, up to 130 grams of carbohydrates per day are allowed. LOGI stands for "Low Glycemic and Insulinemic Diet", which aims to keep blood sugar and blood insulin levels low. austerityLow Carb-Diets like thatKeto Dietallow a maximum of 15 grams. Very radical forms (“No Carb-Diet") are almost completely free of carbohydrates.

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What groceries are in theLow CarbDiet allowed, which forbidden?

Diet during aLow Carb-Diet mainly involves the nutrientsproteinand fat. Foods that are high in carbohydrates areLow CarbDiets, on the other hand, are only allowed in moderation. These include:

  • Grain products (e.g. bread, pasta, rice)
  • potatoes
  • Fruits, vegetables and often legumes with a high carbohydrate content (e.g. dried fruit, grapes, bananas, corn)
  • sweets
  • Alcohol

Since plant foods in particular are often rich in carbohydrates, there is aLow Carb-Diet often consists mainly of animal products:

  • Meat
  • Fisch
  • Owner
  • milk and milkproducts

But some plant-based foods are also low in carbohydrates:

  • cooking oils
  • nuts, seeds
  • Mushrooms
  • Low-carb fruits and vegetables (such as collards, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, avocados, apricots, berries, citrus fruits)
  • With someLow Carb-Diets also include legumes such as beans, peas and chickpeas. Although they contain plenty of carbohydrates, they also contain a lot of vegetable protein.

Also find out which onesLow carb foodsare still suitable for nutrition.

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WithLow Carblose weight

When the body gets a lot of carbohydrates, it turns the excess into fat so it can store it. Here setsLow Carbat. Because with this diet, the body does not get enough carbohydrates to secure its energy supply - and it therefore uses the fat reserves. In this way, rapid weight loss is possible.

In addition, there are no cravings if those who want to lose weight do without simple carbohydrates and tend to use complex ones. By the way, you can save a lot of calories.

Single and double carbohydratesconsist of one or two sugar molecules. They provide energy quickly because they are easily absorbed by the body. The blood sugar level rises, but falls again after a short time. Consequence: A hunger attack. Atcomplex carbohydratesit's different because the body has to break them down first in order to be able to use them. They fill you up slowly, but you'll feel full longer.

When does the low carb diet start working?

It takes a few days and some perseverance for the body to enter the state of ketosis (also called "starvation metabolism"). On average, it takes three days to a week. During this time you may feel tired and listless and have a headache. After a few days, the body has adjusted, and then the symptoms should be gone.

Studies show that you can lose a lot and quickly in the first six months. In addition to fat, the body also loses a lot of water.

WhichLow Carb- There are diet forms?

Atkins diet

For the first two weeks of the Atkins diet, you're supposed to eat just 20 grams of carbohydrates -- the equivalent of about four medium-sized, raw carrots -- per day. As soon as the desired weight is reached, the carbohydrate content is increased to 90 grams. Protein and fat, on the other hand, can be eaten in unlimited quantities.

Lutz diet

The Lutz diet works similar to the Atkins diet. She focuses on protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and dairy products - as well as vegetables. Carbohydrates are allowed in moderation.

Glyx Diet

The Glyx Diet relies on foods with a low glycemic index. These allow the blood sugar level to rise only slowly, which also keeps the insulin level low. Protein-rich foods such as fish, meat and eggs, high-quality fats such as vegetable oils, plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grain products and other carbohydrate-rich foods are allowed in moderation (internal link: fats and oils - not online yet). White flour products and sweets are avoided as far as possible.

When blood sugar levels rise, the body releases the hormone insulin to lower them. However, insulin can stimulate fat cells to store energy. The Glyx diet wants to achieve the opposite.


At theWINDOWS-Diet, as with the Glyx diet, foods are preferred that cause the blood sugar level to rise only moderately: low-carbohydrate fruit and vegetables, high-quality fats, dairy products and low-fat meat. Carbohydrate-rich foods that cause blood sugar levels to rise only slowly are allowed in moderation, such as whole grain products and legumes. In total, the carbohydrate intake may be between 80 and 130 grams per day.

Dukan Diet

In the first phase of the Dukan diet, carbohydrates are almost completely avoided in favor of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. In a second phase, certain types of vegetables may be eaten. Later, carbohydrate-containing foods such as wholemeal bread and fruit are allowed again.

Keto Diet

DieKeto Dietor ketogenic diet is one of the strictest low carb diets. Carbohydrate foods are taboo. Instead, foods rich in fat and protein such as meat, fish, dairy products, nuts and seeds are on the menu. Low-carb vegetables and fruits can be eaten in small amounts. The total intake of carbohydrates is 10 to 15 grams per day.


Adherent to the dietPaleoonly eat foods that existed in the Old Stone Age (Palaeolithic – hence the name).or.should have given. Above all, meat, fish, fruit, nuts and vegetables are on the menu, cereals, legumes, milk and dairy products are avoided. The daily intake of carbohydrates is 50 to 100 grams.

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What are the advantages ofLow Carb-Diet?

  • Protein and fatty foods, such as those inLow Carb-Diets that are the main focus of the menu are filling. Therefore, for manyLow Carb-Diets are not starved to lose weight.
  • A diet in which carbohydrates are only moderately saved - for example the Glyx andWINDOWS-Diet – enables a balanced mixed diet. Anutrient deficiencyis not to be feared.
  • Studies have shown that aLow Carbdiet leads to greater weight loss in the short term than a low-fat (low fat) diet. (However, the differences had evened out after a year. In the long term, therefore, avoiding carbohydrates does not lead to greater weight loss consequences than avoiding fat.)
  • Unhealthy foods like sweets or alcohol will helpLow Carb-Diets avoided due to high carbohydrate content.

Low Carb- Diet: What should you pay attention to?

It is important not to eat too little. This increases the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Even with strict onesLow Carb-Diet variations should keep an eye on your nutritional intake.

Also, drink enough and preferably access mineral water containing sodium. At specialLow Carbproducts, on the other hand, you should be careful, because many contain a lot of fat and are also comparatively expensive. Tip: Moderate amounts are healthiestLow Carb-Forms that rely primarily on vegetables.

When asked how longLow Carb- Diets can be done, there are different answers. Some adherents eat this way long-term, but several studies (such as inThe Lancet) concluded that people who ate very low-carbohydrate diets over the long term were at increased risk of premature death and of diseases such as stroke, cancer, and heart disease.

WithLow Carblose weight and keep it off

To after a successful weight loss withLow CarbTo maintain weight, it is helpful not to revert to previous eating habits. There is a risk of the yo-yo effect, especially with strict forms, as soon as you eat like you did before the change. Tip: gradually increase your intake of carbohydrates, make sure you eat a balanced diet and also incorporate exercise into your everyday life.

What are the disadvantages ofLow CarbDiet?

Low Carb-Diets that strictly avoid carbohydrates –z. B.the atkins diet or theKeto Diet– see nutrition experts critically.

  • Food of animal origin is mainly eaten, which the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) advises against in favor of a predominantly plant-based diet.
  • Vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in many plant-based foods come during aLow Carb- Diet often too short. There is a risk of onenutrient deficiency.
  • Enduring a strictLow Carb- Dieting can be very difficult.
  • OneLow Carb-Diet can lead to side effects such as headaches, fatigue or constipation.
  • It's not enough to just cut out carbohydrates to lose weight. It also depends on the calorie balance.
  • A strictly low-carbohydrate diet produces metabolic products that some people cannot break down well. They increase the risk of gout and kidney problems.
  • The high intake of protein and saturated fatty acids can aggravate the course of the disease in people with certain underlying diseases (e.g. high uric acid levels, renal insufficiency or vascular diseases).
  • Ideally, those who want to lose weight should learn to eat healthily in the long term. At strictLow CarbHowever, such a learning effect falls by the wayside with diets.

If you have diseases –z. B.Gout, diabetes, kidney or vascular diseases - please consult your doctor before changing your diet.


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