A low-carb diet is generally used in cases of weight loss. A low-carb diet usually limits upon the intake of carbohydrates and emphasizes more upon foods that are rich in protein and fat.
As the name suggests, a low-carb diet restricts the type and quantity of carbohydrates that you eat. So, let’s briefly discuss the carbohydrates and their major sources.
Carbohydrates are the type of major calorie providing macronutrient which is found in many foods and beverages. Carbohydrates can be classified as simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates which includes glucose, fructose, lactose, starch.
The Common sources of carbohydrates include cereals, grains, starchy fruits and vegetables, milk, nuts and oilseeds and legumes. Foods like bread, pasta, cookies, cake, candy, and sugar-sweetened sodas and drinks have refined carbohydrate present in them.
Your body uses this carbohydrate as its main fuel which breaks down to form glucose which provides your body with energy to function in an appropriate manner. Amongst which some of the glucose is used up by the body as energy and the remaining extra glucose is usually stored in your liver, muscles and other cells for later use or simply is converted to fat.
Thus the basic idea behind the low-carb diet is that decreasing carbs lowers insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately leads to weight loss.
So what does this low-carb diet comprises of?
Generally, a diet low in carbohydrates majorly focuses upon proteins, including meat, poultry, fish and eggs, and some non-starchy fruits and vegetables and it excludes or limits most grains, legumes, bread, sweets, pasta, starchy fruits and vegetables, and sometimes nuts and seeds. But some of the low-carb diet plans allow small amounts of certain fruits, vegetables and whole grains and some restrict carbohydrates during the initial phase of the diet and inculcate carbs in the diet later.
Results observed after following a low-carb diet
These diets have proven to provide you with instant weight loss. This loss is usually obtained by cutting down the amount of your daily calorie intake and increase in consumption of protein and fat which lowers the satiety thereby keeps you fuller for longer period of time. These kinds of diet can be followed up to a specific period of time and also the desired results could also be witnessed but chances for this attained results to be maintained are very low. Since a low carb diet is not a lifestyle that you can follow through your life or it is not a diet that matches your lifestyle thus, there are always chances that you will end up gaining the kilos that you have shed by following these kinds of diets when you come back to your normal daily routine diet.
Also when you suddenly and drastically cut down upon your carbohydrate intake, then you may also experience a variety of temporary health effects like headache, bad breath, weakness, muscle cramps, physical and mental fatigue, skin rash or allergy, constipation or diarrhoea. Also, when you follow these diets with no carbohydrate consumption for longer period of time then problems like Vitamin or mineral deficiencies, bone loss, gastrointestinal disturbances can arise. And also these diets can lead to heart problems, building up of cholesterol in your body if followed for longer period of time.
Over to you
A low-carb diet is a fiction, not a fact. So, always think before falling for such diets which do not suit your lifestyle. Always choose a diet which is more sustainable to you in longer run. If confused, consult a nutritionist.