Obesity

What are the Disadvantages of a Low Carb Diet?

In the United States alone, about 350,000 people die due to obesity related diseases every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about one-third of the American population is overweight. Hence, the desperation for weight loss is well explained.

Controlled diet and sufficient exercise are strategies which everyone swears by. However, nutrition experts are coming about with diet strategies which essentially make one focus on the types of food eaten. A well propounded strategy entails eating a low carb diet. There are a lot of benefits associated with eating a diet with fewer carbohydrates as far as weight loss is concerned.

Advantages of eating a low carb diet

  • Increased fat metabolism whereby the body turns to the stored glycogen reserves or fats in the body for energy requirements when the same is not available from carbohydrates. The result is faster weight loss.
  • The insulin levels in the blood plasma is lowered whereby it becomes easy for the fat to be released from the storage site or adipocytes.
  • Other benefits would be increased energy.
  • Lesser cravings and episodes of monstrous appetite.
  • Early satiation obtained from meals making it easier to eat less.

However, all these advantages have their share of disadvantages too. In this article, we are going to focus on the disadvantages of a low carbohydrate diet.

Disadvantages of a low carb diet

  • The fast weight loss obtained from the said diet is because of loss of water from the body. The weight loss is also from a loss of muscle tissue. This is because in the absence of carbohydrates the body does not only turn to fats but also uses up the proteins in the body. Now, proteins are the building blocks of muscles and a loss of muscle mass can have a debilitating effect on the body.
  • Another disadvantage with the discussed weight loss is that the weight loss is not sustainable. This is because the body gets used to the low level of carbohydrates and becomes efficient in metabolizing fat. When normal levels of carbohydrates are reintroduced into the diet, the weight comes back with it.
  • People going slow on carbohydrates have higher cravings for them.
  • Low carbohydrate diet is essentially high in fats. One has to be very careful about the types of fat one is including in the diet. Saturated and transfats could elevate the levels of heart clogging LDL cholesterol in the blood. This increases the risk of heart diseases. The benefits of weight loss would also be lost when the said fats are included in diet.
  • The brain and the red blood cells cannot use up the energy reserves from fat in the body. With a really low cayrbohydrate intake the body is forced to produce something known as ketones to supply energy to the brain and the red blood cells. The state of ketosis is not desirable and comes with side effects like nausea, headache, fatigue, constipation, confusion etc.

Hence, it is very important to judiciously decide the proportion of fats, proteins and carbohydrate in one’s diet.

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