Low Carb Diets, the Positives and Negatives

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Low carb diets limit the number of carbohydrates a person eats. Instead of eating carbohydrates, people on that diet plan will focus on eating proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables.

Carbohydrate is the main source of energy for our bodies. Low carb diets are any diet regimens that encourage low consumption of carbohydrates. Studies show that consuming fewer carbohydrates has a positive effect on weight loss and health. The carbs are metabolized to produce glucose, our bodies then easily break the glucose down to obtain the energy that they need. Excess glucose is converted into glycogen which when allowed to accumulate will lead to an increase in body fat.

By Austin Okonji

Scientists tell us that there are three types of micronutrients that provide our bodies with energy: Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. Carbohydrates and proteins provide us with about 17kj per gram, while fats provide us with about 37kj per gram. Carbohydrates are our body’s preferred fuel, especially for our brains and muscles.

The positives:
The number one benefit of a low-carb diet is weight loss. If one can stick to a low carb plan, the person will surely lose weight. The best low carb diets focus on eliminating starchy carbohydrates such as Sugary drinks, sweets, pasta, puddings, cakes, biscuits, white rice, and white bread.

Following a low carb diet, especially one that replaces bad carbs with good (complex) carbs helps to regulate spikes in blood sugar which in turn may lower blood pressure and promote heart and circulatory system health.

For people living with diabetes, cutting back on added sugars and fast-digesting simple carbohydrates is an essential element of maintaining good health. The best way to lower blood sugar level is to reduce carbs consumption, which may treat and possibly reverse type 2diabetes.

Effective against Metabolic Syndrome: A serious condition that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Many studies show that diets that help you reduce calories will also lead to improved cardiovascular health and maintain good cholesterol levels.

A major benefit is also that the practitioners don’t always feel very hungry as protein will help in feeling fuller longer.

Some studies claim that consumption of low carb foods leads to improvement in blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

Triglycerides (these are fat molecules that circulate in your bloodstream – it increases the risk of heart disease.) tend to drop drastically.

Increased level of ‘Good’ HDL cholesterol – High-Density Lipoprotein is often called good cholesterol.

Low-carb and keto diets have proven beneficial in treating epilepsy in children and are being studied for their effects on other brain conditions.


The Negatives:
Eating fewer carbs can make you feel weak, tired, constipated, nauseous, and fatigued; it can even affect your mood and concentration.

Muscle loss is common as the body looks to use protein for fuel.

Low carb diets are generally low in fiber and antioxidants which can increase the risk of certain cancers, especially bowel cancer.

Low carb diets that advocate high protein can cause damage to kidneys and bones.

Carbohydrates are found in many different types of foods, avoiding them in order to reduce the total amount of carbohydrates will result in a sub-optimal intake of vitamins and minerals found in these foods.

From our analysis above we can see that a low carb diet is about controlling the total amount of calories that you consume whether they come from carbs, fats, or proteins.

A lot of diverse foods are allowed on a low-carb diet, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, fats, and vegetables. If your diet contains a balanced mix of these foods, you shouldn’t need to worry about getting sufficient nutrients.

One may not go on a strict low carb diet if: you have a tendency to have a low blood glucose level, suffer from liver and/or kidney disease, suffer from severe high blood pressure, or suffer from certain metabolism and such like diseases.

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