Low Carb Diets

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Is Low Carb Really the Way to Go?

In recent years several popular diets, most notably the Atkins Diet, have extolled the many benefits of cutting down or even removing carbohydrates for your diet altogether. But is that a really such a good idea? For one thing, carbohydrates are a vital fuel source for many major organs, including the brain, the kidneys, and the central nervous system. How do they work? Specifically, the digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into glucose and it works with insulin to provide fuel and energy to the cells.

Low Carb Diets

A diet that is low n carbohydrates often asks dieters to eat fewer than 60 grams of carbs per day. While they are currently quite popular, many doctors and other health care professionals refuse to endorse these diets, in part because they replace carbohydrates with high levels of fat and prohibit consumption of foods that are high in carbohydrates. We’re not talking about restricting dieters from eating potato chips or pretzels here, we’re talking about healthy foods like fruits, and vegetables, all of which have some carbohydrates.

Low Carb Diet Limit Healthy Food Options

As we just mentioned, when we say that these diet deny people carbohydrates, we mean all carbs, even those that are present in healthy, vitamin-rich foods. So, what can you eat on a low carb diet? Well, mostly meat and dairy products. The average low carb diet includes foods like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, butter and bacon.

As you might expect, these diets are extremely high in fat, particularly saturated fat. Why is this important? Well, for starters, the safety of diets such as these that have high fat and low carbohydrates is still in question. In fact, many health experts have gone on record as saying that they are the perfect prescription for a heart attack.

But do they work?

Even though their safety of these diets is questions, as we have seen people are willing to do some pretty crazy things if they thing it will help them fit into a size six. But the simple fact is that weight loss is all about intake and outtake. Bottom line: you have to burn more calories that you consume to loss weight. And it really doesn’t matter if those calories are coming from carbohydrates, fats or protein.

Weight Loss is Temporary

It is true; however, that many people who switch to low carb diets experience an almost immediate weight gain. But we have to dig a little deeper to get to the truth. Fact is that most of the weight that these dieters lose is mostly water weight, not body fat. This occurs because the body needs carbohydrates to turn into glucose and when they are not provided, the body will starts to use up something called glycogen, which can be converted into glucose only when need.  That means that once the low carbohydrate diet has been discontinued, water will be restored to the body and the perplexed dieter will end up gaining back most, or even all of the weight he lost.

Side Effects

Short term side effects of these diets include:

*Lethargy,

*Nausea,

*Dehydration,

*Dizziness,

*Bad Breath,

*Constipation,

While long term effects include:

*Depletion of essential vitamins and mineral;

*High rates of cancer due to high red meat consumption;

*Higher risk of heart attack due to high levels of saturated fats;

*Skyrocketing cholesterol.

There is also some evidence that these diets can lead to muscle loss. This is due to the fact that when the body is deprived of carbohydrates, it is then forced to break down muscle and other tissues in order to produce glucose.

Dangers

In addition to what we have mentioned, it is also true that a low carb diet can do serious, perhaps even irreparable damage to major organs. This is because the diet focuses too heavily on the intake of massive amounts of protein, which most experts agree can be extremely hazardous to your health.

Some of the health risks of a diet that is extremely high in protein include:

*High cholesterol and eventual heart disease,

*Kidney problems and possibly even diabetes,

*Liver problems,

*Loss of minerals in the bones.

Eat some Carbohydrates

If after everything we have said, you still decide to go on a low carb diet, please do not avoid carbohydrates all together. As you have seen, you need them to help your body perform several basic, essential functions. So, select the carbs you will eat carefully and make sure they provide you will essential vitamins and minerals. This means that you should get your carbs from vegetables and fruits rather than from pretzels or potato chips.

Also, select the proteins you eat just as carefully. Make sure you eat only lean red meat, fish, chicken (sans the skin) and pork.

A Word of Warning

If you are pregnant or discover that you are pregnant while you are on a low carb diet, discontinue it immediately. These diets do not and cannot provide your baby with the essential vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates that he or she needs to grow.

About the author:

Gary Grewal is webmaster of the site 101weightloss.com; a site featuring the most comprehensive archive of weight loss tips. Visit his site for articles on healthy eating, exercising, diets, pills and more.


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