THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS - RISKS OF THE LOW CARB DIET
One of the things that everyone just "knows" these days seems to be that carbs are the enemy. Everywhere you turn, you hear about low carb, no carb, high protein, high fat, keto, paleo, etc. The thing about all this that many do no realize is that low carb diets have been around for an unbelievably long time. Since the 19th century in fact! And every so often, it comes back in vogue only for people to realize that it may not be the healthiest way. Then the cycle repeats. It's actually kind of funny when you look at it!
The problem with it and the reason why so many people flock towards it is that it works! Yes, it does work and in fact it works quickly. Sounds great, doesn't it? So what's the problem? There are a number of risks involved when going low carb and also as is usually done, combined with a high protein and fat diet. We'll get to those in a bit, but first understand that there are no shortcuts. You may get results, but they come with a price and are not sustainable. So what are some of the risks? Here they are.
High fat/protein and low carb diets may work quickly for weight loss, but it's easy for it to come back even if you remotely return to a more conventional diet. I personally know someone who went on vacation who had been doing keto and he came back 12 lbs heavier! I don't care how much you pig out on vacation. 12 lbs in one week is just ridiculous and should be an indication something is wrong.
Eating large amounts of protein combined with low carbohyrates can lead to bad breath. This could be because your body goes into Ketosis, a metabolic state which produces chemicals that give off an unpleasant fruity smell. The goal of people following this diet is to switch your energy source from carbs to fats. But this is one of those costs I mentioned earlier. And don't think that brushing and flossing will get rid of the smell. Maybe to a small degree, but the problem is internal.
By intentionally restricting or eliminating grains and other high fiber foods, constipation can be a real problem. And with that comes all sorts of problems with your colon and intestinal health.
And on to the other extreme, Diarrhea is another risk. Drinking more water, avoiding caffeinated drinks, and limiting fried foods can help. However with low carb diets, high fat is the name of the game so that pretty much makes this impossible.
Your body flushes out excess nitrogen with fluids and water. This can leave you dehydrated even though you may not feel more thirsty than usual. And when you eat that much protein as is done on a low carb diet, there will be a lot of excess nitrogen. Again, drinking water can be a big help. But clearly the biggest help would just be to not eat so much protein.
This is again because of the excess nitrogen. Your kidneys have to work much harder to get rid of the extra nitrogen and waste products from protein metabolism.
Increased cancer risks
Eating a diet high in protein and fat may lead to heart disease. This could be related to higher amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol. Particularly, eating large amounts of red meat and high-fat dairy was shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease in women. However eating poultry, fish, and nuts lowered the risk, sot that helps a bit!
Another thing which may surprise some people is that diets which are high in protein and meat may cause calcium loss. This is sometimes associated with osteoporosis and poor bone health.
So these are some of the things to think about before going on a low carb diet. There are of course other, more sustainable, and healthy ways to eat. Results will take longer, BUT they'll last and you won't have the same health risks as the high protein and fat diets. I understand that for some medical conditions, low carb diets may help. I believe I read somewhere that the Keto diet was used for people suffering from epileptic seizures and it seemed to help them a lot. However for the cast majority of people following it, just sticking to a nice balanced diet is the way to go. I know you may have heard that before, but guess what. It's still true!
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