The low carb diet has been touted as a quick and easy to lose weight—but there has been much debate about are low carb diets healthy? Here we will put the science behind the diet in simple terms and then get into answering, are low carb diets healthy?
A couple of things before getting started…
Before getting started, I’d like to point out that I’m not a doctor and I’m not a dietitian. I’d also like to say that I’m trying to answer the question about if low carb diets are healthy overall. When it all comes down to it, it depends on the type of eating strategy you choose, the specific efforts you make to follow it, and the individual foods that you choose.
After all, if you’re eating only bacon for the next month and a half, yes, you’ll be low in carbohydrates, but that can hardly be considered nutritionally balanced. On the other hand, if you’re trying to keep your carbohydrates within a certain range while focusing on eating the most flavorful and nutritionally dense ingredients you can find, that will have a different outcome altogether. Even better, if you combine your efforts with KETO FASTCUT by Intechra Health diet supplements you will find unique support to assist these dieting efforts.
Don’t consider this medical advice. Instead, this is an informative examination of the way I understand low carb diets and if they are healthy on the whole. If you’re really interested in finding out what type of eating strategy is best and healthiest for you, it’s a good idea to talk to an expert. This can include your physician as well as others such as a nutritionist or dietitian.
Are low carb diets healthy? The science…
So, what happens when we are on the low or no carb diet and why does it work? Your body stores fat for energy and forms glycogen. Glycogen is attached to several molecules of water. The body can break those down and use them for energy. During a low carb diet, for example the inductions phase of the Atkins diet—you cut away the carb intake. Your body will then use the energy stored in the muscles. This is the time that rapid weight loss begins but it is mostly water. This is a state called ketosis which means the body is now burning fat and not sugar for energy.
So, are low carb diets healthy?
Yes and no would be the answer to this question. There are ways to do this and ways not to do this. The first thing you have to do to make this healthy is to never –ever cut out carbs altogether—people who have gone on crash no carbohydrate diets regret it. This causes what is called “low carb flu” and can actually zap your energy and cause drastic blood sugar fluxes and mood swings. This, for some is the beginning of blood glucose issues and you don’t want to play with that. There are people who can’t tolerate blood glucose fluxes—you could eventually develop diabetes mellitus if you constantly drive your blood glucose level up and down.
In simple terms, completely eliminating carbohydrates is not a natural thing to do. It can be counter productive. This is because your body needs carbs for energy and to live. The best thing to do if you’re determined to tweak your carbohydrate intake for weight management is to focus on keeping your carb intake within a certain healthy range. This can mean focusing on healthy carbohydrate alternatives like sweet potato instead of the starchier white potato and brown rice instead of white bleached rice.
How much is too much and how little is too little?
If you want to know what your ideal range for a healthy low carb diet would be, it’s a good idea to look to an expert. While you could take a guess and use an app to help you understand what your macronutrient ratios look like, your best option for getting started is nearly always to talk to someone with a medical background. Then, you can work with that foundation to guide yourself as you move forward.
So, are low carb diets safe? Yes, when you use common sense and balance – assuming you’re already healthy and don’t have any specific dietary needs that require more carbohydrates. It is a challenge but there are lists of food swaps that can help to make things easier for you. This can help you get the most out of the fewer carbs you’ll be eating. At the same time, it will help to make sure your diet won’t smack you down when you need the energy the most—to work out and to function properly.