Low-Carb Diets: What You Need to Know


Skipping carbs or going on a low-carb diet has often been tagged as a good way to shed off extra pounds. However, a recent study revealed that the absence of carbohydrates in the diet may increase the risk of dying early.

The study that was shown at the yearly meeting for the European Society of Cardiology used diet information from 25,000 individuals in the course of 11 years. It was discovered that the subjects who had low-carb intake had a 32% higher mortality risk in contrast to those who consumed more carbohydrates in their diet.

Given this new information, carbs might not be so bad after all. It’s helpful to be well-informed before plunging into a low carb diet.



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Here’s a list of possible effects that could result from cutting carbs:

  • Sleepiness/lethargy

The body breaks down carbohydrates faster, converting it to energy more quickly than when it breaks down protein and fat. Skip carbs, and you might feel sleepier than usual.

  • Losing Weight

Eating less carbs means that you’re eating less calories – hence, the weight loss. However, diabetes educator Jessica Crandall, RD, says that she has seen people lose weight on a low-carb diet for a while, but gain it all back the following year.

  • All-day Morning Breath

Without carbs to burn, the body burns fat for energy in a process called ketosis. But, this process produces ketones which can contribute to bad breath – it can be described as a metallic or fruity smell.

  • Lightheadedness

According to Crandall, “Your brain needs a minimum of 120 grams of carbs a day to function.” Skipping your carbs means compromising the brain’s energy source – hence, the dizziness, headaches and the inability to focus.

  • Constipation

Substituting your carbs with more animal protein might cause stools that are difficult to pass. Many carbs are great sources of fiber that helps ease constipation.


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  • Diarrhea and Gassy Feelings

Replacing your carb intake with fat can have effects on your bowel movement. “Some people may experience bloating, diarrhea, or excessive flatulence,” according to Dr. Gina Sam, a gastroenterologist based in New York

  • Indigestion

Dr. Sam explains, “You have a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, which prevents stomach acid from entering the esophagus…Too much fat in your stomach can cause that sphincter to open, allowing acid to flow back up.” Look out for acid reflux symptoms.

  • Inability to exercise efficiently

Carbs fuel the body, so it’s important to have an adequate intake for exercise especially when strength training and endurance is your goal.

  • Possible Vitamin Deficiency

Essential vitamins and nutrients that are needed by the body might be running low if you go on a strict low-carb or no-carb diet. You need to be careful about meeting your nutritional needs.

Whether you decide to try a low-carb diet, or not, maintaining a balance is a must. Here are some tips for a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Source: Reader’s Digest

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