Which Low Carb Diet is the Best Choice for You?

The Atkins diet is the most popular low-carb diet plan, and it involves reducing all high-carbohydrate foods while eating as much protein and fat as desired. But is it the best option? According to Amy E. Rothberg, MD, PhD, an obesity specialist and director of Michigan Medicine's weight management clinic, the answer is both yes and no. In theory, a low-carb diet can be effective for weight loss, but it's not meant to be followed indefinitely.

Plus, there is still no randomized controlled trial (RCT) that evaluates the health benefits of two low-carb diets of different stringency. So what can you eat on a low-carb diet? You can enjoy delicious dishes full of meat, fish, chicken, vegetables and full sauces. If you're determined to start a low-carb diet, you should know that there are many different types available, from the ketogenic diet to the Dukan diet. Fiber can have both beneficial and some possible negative effects on gut health, but it generally has no major impact on the effects of a low-carb diet.

Get instant access to healthy low-carb and ketogenic meal plans, quick and easy recipes, medical expert weight-loss tips, and more. Before attempting a more extreme form of a low-carb diet like the ketogenic diet, it's important to consult with a medical professional. The Paleo diet (opens in a new tab) is also known as the “caveman's diet” and it mimics what our pre-agricultural ancestors ate: natural foods that aren't grown or processed. Studies have shown that low-carb diets are at least as effective as other diets for weight loss.

This approach includes 50 to 100 g of carbohydrates per day; this is where many people start because it's less restrictive than a ketogenic diet meal plan, but it can still deliver results. In fact, many of the most modern diets (such as keto) are almost completely cutting out carbohydrates in favor of getting calories from protein and fat.