The benefits of a carbohydrate-free diet

The benefits of a carbohydrate-free diet

Among the various dietary strategies aimed at fat loss, the one that in recent years, in the clinical practice of many physicians as well as in the international scientific literature, has shown the greatest effectiveness is definitely the Very Low Carbohydrate Diet (VLCD). VLCDs have been shown to be superior in weight loss compared to traditional “balanced” diets, while also improving many blood parameters such as triglycerides, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Despite the widespread adoption of this type of diet due to its effectiveness, a partial obstacle to its broader applicability naturally arises from the reduction of carbohydrate-based foods to which our culture has accustomed us and to which our neighbors are widely accustomed. This problem can be overcome by adopting foods that, while maintaining the organoleptic appearance of carbohydrates, are almost completely devoid of them and are balanced in other ingredients.

Here then, pasta, bread, croissants, cookies, pound cakes, breadsticks, sweet and savory rusks, pizza, snacks, chocolate, and whatever else, prepared with ketogenic blends, allow for a diet without annoying feelings of deprivation. Gamberi Foods markets ketogenic food products prepared with forms and types entirely similar to traditional ones (so pasta, bread, croissants, cookies, crackers, breadsticks, sweet and savory rusks, pizza, snacks, chocolate, etc.) that, in healthy individuals, allow you to eat whenever you’re hungry without following the strict rules imposed by diets. The blends from which these food products are obtained are composed exclusively of negligible amounts of carbohydrates, balanced plant proteins, plant fibers, and fats.

1 – CARBOHYDRATES: in minimal amounts present in the raw materials used.


2 – BALANCED PLANT PROTEINS: contain essential and non-essential amino acids in complete and balanced quantities to provide a complete amino acid profile. They are exclusively derived from plants and should be consumed according to protein requirements.


3 – PLANT FIBERS – Soluble and Insoluble: Plant fibers are mainly composed of cellulose, they are also carbohydrates indigestible by humans but only by ruminants and are normally used to treat constipation. Their presence in the diet has been shown to be important for the prevention of colorectal tumors.


4 – FATS: in the necessary quantity to create the right balance among nutrients.

A ketogenic diet allows for a high-fat intake. To trigger the mechanism of lipolysis (utilization of reserve fat) and induce ketosis, it is crucial to eliminate all sources of sugar: starches (pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, legumes), glucose, fructose, sucrose, and lactose. Along with ketogenic products, you can eat all types of meats and fish, cured meats, aged cheeses, raw leafy green vegetables, and low-carb fruits. You can also use all types of fats: oil, butter, cream, mascarpone. It is important to always keep in mind the clear distinction: if you ingest carbohydrates (whether they are simple sugars like sweets or complex sugars – starches – like pasta), you should not introduce fats; if you do not introduce carbohydrates, you can introduce fats. This is because the simultaneous introduction of a highly caloric nutrient like fats together with a nutrient (carbohydrates) that generally stimulates energy accumulation favors fat deposition. During this type of diet, it is not necessary to count calories because by minimizing (below 20 g/day) the intake of carbohydrates (whether they are starches or simple sugars), the body is “forced” to use alternative pathways such as ketosis and neoglucogenesis. The former breaks down fat deposits to provide energy through ketone bodies (which are also used by the CNS as an energy source instead of glucose), the latter “creates” glucose from amino acids.

But how does our body function without carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates play crucial roles in our body: they are a direct source of energy (blood glucose), a reserve of energy (glycogen), and are used by the brain as fuel, in addition to performing other metabolic functions. But what happens when we remove carbohydrates from the diet?

Initially, our body must adapt to this condition, which, we repeat, is physiological and uses the stored glycogen in tissues for glucose; once this is depleted, it starts producing glucose from amino acids (derived from proteins), and after several days, from glycerol contained in triglycerides. Glucose is then necessary to produce pyruvate, which, once converted to oxaloacetate, is crucial for the proper functioning of the Krebs cycle (for the energetic use of acetyl-coenzyme-A derived from nutrients). If there is little glucose (or too many fats) available, acetyl-coenzyme-A accumulates and is then transformed into ketone bodies, which will be used by tissues and especially by the brain as an important and efficient energy source.


Prof. Antonio Paoli – University of Padua