Healthy Living

Fasting vs. Carb Restriction: Which Is Better?

When you talk about diets, intermittent fasting and a low-carb diet are the two common recommendations. But both approaches have some similar effects, such as reducing carbs, insulin and blood sugar and promoting ketosis.

It may make you think of just handpicking one because any of them could help improve your health. But fasting and low-carb diet still have difference, depending on what you want to do. 

There are also areas where skipping meals may work, while reducing carbs may provide the least benefits. Read on to see which one is the best for you and when to avoid them. 

Weight Loss

Many people try either intermittent fasting or low-carb diet to reduce weight. Both approaches can boost the fat burning process.  

Carb restriction mainly helps reduce calories, while fasting limits meal consumption during the day. However, a low-carb diet may have an advantage over fasting when people try to follow this approach for fat loss. 

Intermittent fasting can be highly restrictive and hard to follow, with some people failing to manage their hunger and leading to more food consumption. Meanwhile, low-carb diet allows followers to eat any food as long as it meets their daily nutritional requirements.

For Sports

Athletes follow that “train low, race high” approach when preparing for a competition. They consume less carbs during training and increase their intake before competitive events. 

This helps their body learn how to utilize stored fat to generate energy, which could boost their physical performance during the game. However, fasting is also being used in sports.

Athletes skip meals to increase their carb intake in an effort to replenish the glycogen stores they lost during training. 

Preventing Seizures

One of the similar health benefits of intermittent fasting and low-carb diet is reduced seizures. Both approaches support the production of ketones in the body, which play a role in preventing seizures. 

One study recommended combining fasting and low-carb diet. Researchers found that the animal subjects on both diets experienced relief from seizures.

However, it may not be safe for children to follow an intermittent fasting plan. Regular fasting could negatively affect their growth and development, according to Mark’s Daily Apple

Diabetes Management

For people who have prediabetes condition or already developed type 2 diabetes, fasting may work better. One study found that blood sugar levels were better in people who skipped meals during the day compared to those who were on a low-carb diet. 

Another recent research showed that time-restricted eating from morning to mid-afternoon could improve insulin sensitivity, reduce fasting insulin and reduce hunger at night in people with prediabetes. Researchers said fasting worked better when done in the morning than at night. 

diet Alternate-day fasting (ADF) has been found offering a number of health benefits, from longer lifespan, reduced cholesterol levels to lower belly fat. Pixabay