Low Carb Diet Benefits, Risks, And More

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

A low carbohydrate diet restricts carbs. These are mostly found in sweet foods, bread, and pasta. You concentrate on eating nutritious foods and veggies high in protein instead of carbs.

A low carbohydrate diet could limit your daily intake of carbs to fewer grams. However, consuming low carbohydrates should not mean eating any carbs.

Certain carbohydrate foods contain vital fiber, minerals, and vitamins that are crucial components of a balanced diet.

Low carbohydrate diets have been shown to promote better health and weight loss. These diets have been popular for a long time now.

The best part is that you do not need to manage calories or use specific products. All you have to do to have a filling, nourishing, and balanced diet is to eat whole foods.

In this article, we will be looking at all about low-carb diets.

All About Low Carb Diet

A piece of bread has 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrates, which is comparable to the amount found in an apple. On the contrary, a liter of orange juice and a large potato each provide 80 grams of carbohydrates.

Not everyone should follow a low carbohydrate diet. According to this study, they might be efficient and secure for helping diabetic people manage their risk of heart disease, weight, and glucose levels.

It is crucial to understand the possible advantages and the ways to minimize any potential hazards if you choose to follow a low carbohydrate diet.

Benefits Of Low Carb Diet

Here are some benefits of low carb diet:

  1. Lowers Your Appetite

    The worst negative effect of dieting is usually hunger. It is one of the key causes of the unhappy feelings that many people experience.

    However, low carbohydrate eating automatically decreases hunger. The study demonstrates that diets rich in fat and protein and less in carbs result in much lower calorie intake.

  2. Results In Greater Weight Loss

    One of the most efficient and simplest strategies to lose weight is to reduce your carbohydrate intake.

    A study shows that people on low-fat diets experience slower weight loss than people on low carbohydrate diets, even when the latter are aggressively restricting calories.

    This is because low carbohydrate diets help your body in eliminating extra water, which causes you to lose weight quickly and also lowers insulin levels.

    Comparing low-fat and low-carb diets show that those who limit their carbs intake occasionally shed 3-5 times as much weight without feeling hungry.

    In comparison to a traditional weight loss diet, one research of overweight adults revealed that a low carbohydrate diet was particularly successful for up to 6 months.

    Then, later on, there was little difference in the weight loss. 608 overweight adults participated in low-carb or low-fat diets, and both groups dropped comparable amounts of weight.

  3. Triglycerides Usually Decline Sharply

    In your bloodstream, fat molecules known as triglycerides could be found.

    High fasting triglyceride levels, which are found in the blood following overnight fasting, are widely known to be a risk factor for heart disease.

    Study shows consuming carbs, particularly sugar fructose, is one of the main causes of increased triglycerides among inactive individuals.

    People usually notice a very dramatic drop in triglycerides when they cut back on their carbohydrates. On the contrary, low-fat diets often increase triglycerides.

  4. Reduced Insulin and Sugar Levels

    Insulin resistance and diabetes, which afflict tens of people worldwide, could both be treated with ketogenic and low carbohydrate diets.

    The study demonstrates that reducing carbs significantly lowers both insulin and sugar levels.

    Some diabetics who start a low carbohydrate diet might need to almost immediately cut their insulin dosage by 60%.

    In one trial, 90% of participants with type two diabetes stopped or lowered their glucose-lowering medication within 6 months.

    Before making adjustments in your carbs consumption, if you use sugar medication, see your doctor as your dosage might need to be changed to prevent hypoglycemia.

  5. Treatment For Several Brain Disorders

    As certain areas of your brain could only burn glucose, you need to consume glucose. Because of this, when you do not eat any carbs, your liver has to convert protein to glucose.

    Ketones, which are produced when carbs intake is very low, could also be burned in a significant portion of the brain.

    The ketogenic diet, which has been used to treat epilepsy among children who do not react to medication, operates on this basis.

    The low carbohydrate diet has a huge success rate for treating epilepsy among children.

    In a study, the number of seizures in more than one-half of the kids on the low carbohydrate diet dropped by more than 60%, and 15 percent of them stopped having seizures altogether.

    The effects of ketogenic and low carbohydrate diets on Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s illness are currently being researched, according to the study.

Risks Of Low Carb Diet 

Here are some risks associated with low carb diet:

  1. Might Harm Your Kidneys

    As they do not include carbohydrates, high-fat animal items like cheese, and eggs are essential to the low carbohydrate diet.

    However, kidney stones could be more likely to form if you consume large quantities of these foods.

    This is because eating a lot of animal products could make your urine and blood more acidic, which might result in greater calcium excretion from your urine.

    According to some research, the low carbohydrate diet could also lessen the quantity of citrate which your body releases into the urine.

    Reduced levels of citrate could increase your chance of getting kidney stones as it might bind to calcium.

    Additionally, persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD) should stay away from the low-carb diet.

    As their kidneys might be less able to eliminate the acidic accumulation that these animal foods cause in their blood. This could result in acidosis, which would accelerate CKD development.

  2. Potentially Cause Nutritional Deficits

    The low carbohydrate diet might not offer the recommended levels of minerals and vitamins as it restricts several foods, such as nutritionally dense fruits, and whole grains.

    The study claims that the low carbohydrate diet is deficient in phosphorus, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium.

    The requirement of only twelve of the twenty-seven minerals and vitamins could be fulfilled by this diet.

    This might eventually result in shortages of minerals and vitamins in your body. It is recommended to consume the following supplements for people on a low-carb diet-

    • Psyllium fiber
    • Potassium
    • Magnesium
    • Sodium
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Calcium
    • Vitamins B, C, and E.

    You should know that the nutritional value of the low-carb diet relies on the food that you consume.

    Hence, consume more nutritious foods like almonds, non-starchy veggies, and avocados.
  3. Might Harm Bone Health

    Impaired bone health is also linked to the low-carb diet. The research suggests that the low carbohydrate diet reduces the strength of bone.

    This is because the density of bone minerals decreases as your body adjusts to a low-carb diet.

    A study on the low carbohydrate diet found that 69% of the candidates had reduced densities of the bone mineral after starting the diet.

    Individuals who adhered to a low carbohydrate diet for 3 weeks had greater blood levels of bone disintegration indicators than those who consumed a diet rich in carbs.

Is A Low-Carb Diet Safe?

There is evidence that reducing your carbs intake might improve and possibly reverse your type two diabetes.

A study on patients with impaired glucose tolerance or type two diabetes found that adhering to low carbohydrate diets reduced cholesterol and blood pressure while also reducing the need for medication.

The BDA (British Dietitians Association) claims that cutting carbohydrates could be effective in managing cardiovascular risk, and weight, and improving glycemic control in type two diabetes people in the shorter term.

However, more research is needed to determine the low-carb diet’s long-term effects on glucose and the effects of substituting more fat for carbs on heart health.

It is also crucial to note that persons with type one diabetes, teenagers, children, and pregnant women with type two diabetes are not covered by this.

Similarly, women who are gestational diabetics should consult their doctor for advice and assistance to ensure that the dietary adjustments would support both their unborn child and them.

With the epidemic of high blood pressure, type one diabetes, type two diabetes, and obesity, cutting back on carbs and replacing them with more fruits and vegetables makes sense for many people but not all.

Conclusion

Low carbohydrate diets limit carbohydrates like those in sugary and processed foods, bread, and pasta.

A healthy low-carb diet contains a lot of protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins and they might enhance health and lead to weight loss.

Most people might adhere to a low carbohydrate diet with some sensible adjustments. A low carbohydrate diet, however, might not be the ideal strategy to achieve sustainable or long-term health objectives.

People who follow a low carbohydrate diet must avoid overindulging in specific items like fatty meats and eat sensibly.

Before making any significant adjustments, people who are planning on adopting a low carbohydrate diet or trying to lose weight should consult with their nutritionist or doctor.

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