Diet, Fitness & Exercise

Are Low Carb Diets Really The Best?

Low carb diets are diets that restrict the consumption of carbohydrates in order to cure obesity or diabetes. They are normally rich in fats and proteins. Atkins diet is an example of a low carb diet. To some level, these diets are effective in weight loss and curing weight related diseases, but are they really the best alternatives that we have? Let us look at some of their disadvantages.

Low carb diets are ketogenic

When you severely restrict levels of carbohydrates in the diet, you force the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. This is a state whereby whenever available from the diet, carbohydrates (starches, sugars, and sweets) are the preferred fuel that the cells burn to generate energy. They are the petrol for your body’s engine. Any excess food in the diet (whether carbohydrate or protein or fat) will be stored for future use and most of the excess energy is converted to and then stored as fat. Some of the side effects of ketosis are headaches, bad breath and nausea.

Low carb diets limit carbohydrate consumption to less than the recommended proportions.

Too much of everything is dangerous. Zero or reduced carbohydrate content in the no carb or low carb diets is not a health benefit, because some types of these diets limit the consumption of fiber, which could lead to constipation. Perhaps that is why the Atkins diet recommends a fiber supplement during the induction phase. Low carbohydrate diets work by promoting rapid fat loss through the inefficient burning of your fat stores as energy. This spares most protein loss, and re‐establishes insulin sensitivity. There is no denying that the Low‐Carb Diets promote rapid detoxification of body toxins, that are mainly stored in the fatty tissues – but this assumes that the liver’s capacity for rapid detoxification is adequate.

Low carb diet versus blood sugar balancing diet

It is arguable that the blood sugar balancing diet is better than the low carb diet although it is more difficult to adopt. This is because low carb diets lead to faster short-term results while blood sugar balancing diet leads to better long-term compliance. With low carb diets, fat is lost rapidly but with blood sugar balancing diet, fat is lost steadily. Low carb diets severely restrict carbs but blood sugar balancing diet allows most carbs in moderation, which is a step in the right direction. Moreover, while blood sugar balancing diet moderately restricts calories and fats, low carb diets restrict neither calories nor fats. Failure to adhere to the low carb diet creates strong cravings but cheating with the blood sugar balancing diet is easy to manage. For these reasons, it is safe to say that the blood sugar balancing diet is healthier than the low carb diet.

Overall, severely restricting carbohydrates in the diet (to less than 40g per day) has a number of beneficial medical uses but also some substantial limitations. It is true that being overweight leads to a poor quality of life. However, it is good to adopt healthy weight loss practices in fine moderation to avoid other unpleasant effects to your body.