How do low carb diets affect glucose?


Low-carb diets primarily affect glucose levels by decreasing blood glucose and subsequently reducing insulin secretion. The reduction in available glucose prompts several physiological changes, which include increased water and electrolyte excretion—a direct result of decreased carbohydrate intake. This effect can sometimes necessitate adjustments in sodium and potassium intake to maintain electrolyte balance 1.

During the initial stages of adopting a low-carb or ketogenic diet, individuals may experience effects such as lower blood glucose and insulin sensitivity changes. It may take time for the body to adapt to this different energy utilization pathway. Enhanced insulin sensitivity means the body becomes better equipped to sponge up glucose when carbohydrates are reintroduced. However, during transitions, effects like brain fog and energy fluctuations can occur as the body adjusts its metabolic processes from primarily utilizing fats to carbohydrates again 2.

Moreover, low carb diets tend to reduce sugar cravings due to prolonged low to moderate blood glucose levels. This can potentially lead to changes in neural circuits related to sugar cravings and hormone regulation concerning blood glucose management. 3

Low-carb diets

Andrew discusses the effects of low-carb diets on water, sodium, and potassium levels in the body and the importance of adjusting salt and potassium intake accordingly.

Huberman Lab

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These adaptations to glucose and insulin dynamics highlight the need to monitor and possibly adjust diet composition according to individual responses and health goals.