Today I want to chat about something I feel many babes stress over, cutting carbs. And I don't mean slicing a bread roll or an apple!
Low carb, weight loss diets have become mainstream. Before jumping on the trend, have a read of what I am about to say.
What is Low Carb Eating?
Carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fiber) are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. But most carbs in modern diets come from highly processed foods made with refined grains, starches, and added sugars.
A low carb diet generally includes less than 26 percent of daily calories from carbs, which means less than 130 grams (g) per day for a 2000 calorie diet. 🤯
A very low carb diet provides less than 10 percent of calories from carbs (less than 50 g per day). When the body’s stores of glucose are used up, it must rely more on the breakdown of fatty acids for energy. Without enough carbohydrates to complete this breakdown, compounds called ketone bodies form in a process called ketosis. This is why very low carb diets are known as ketogenic diets. While many people swear by the benefits of ketosis, the scientific evidence remains unclear if ketosis is necessary to achieve the health benefits of low-carb diets. Ketone bodies can have adverse effects on the developing fetus, so anyone who is pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid very low carb/ketogenic diets.
Will You Lose Weight?
Yes, a low or very-low carb diet plan can lead to significant weight loss. Possibly quicker weight loss with low carb versus low fat diets, but for some people, the restrictions, lower variety, and potential exclusion of favourite foods can make low carb diets harder to follow for the long term and lead to binge eating more. often.
Is it Healthy?
Despite adverse effects of sugar and simple carbohydrates on anxiety and depression, low intake of carbs have been shown to lower levels of serotonin and increase psychological disorders. Any form of restriction is going to play on your mind and potentially stress you out and make you unhappy.
Weight loss itself brings a wide variety of health benefits. Here is what I know about the effects of limiting carbs so far:
Cardiovascular health: Because these diets produce weight loss, cardiovascular risk factors generally improve.
Type 2 diabetes: Reducing carb intake improves glycemic (blood sugar) control. Additionally, any diet that results in weight loss is beneficial for prevention and treatment. However, there is potential for very low-carb eating to increase risk of a serious and potentially life-threatening complication called diabetic ketoacidosis in people who are taking medication for type 2 diabetes.
General health and nutrition: Very low carb (ketogenic) diets can cause constipation, fatigue, bad breath, and headache.
What to Do?
Reducing intake of processed grains and sugars, and replacing these with minimally processed foods like nuts, seeds, vegetables, and plant oils rich in unsaturated fats is a great choice for long-term weight control, metabolic health, and general health.
Avoiding healthy carb containing foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and minimally processed whole grains is not a good idea.
At the end of the day, a healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition.
What are the Benefits of a Balanced Diet?
- Prevents diseases and infections. When you eat the full range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you improve your immune system and your healthy diet may even help prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
- Helps you control your weight. Most people at some point want to lose weight or gain weight – eating a balanced diet helps you control your weight and maintain it over time. It is not feasible to be on a weight-loss diet forever – a balanced diet is the best way to healthily control your weight in the long term.
- Improves your mental health. Getting the right mix of nutrients can help to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety – looking after yourself by eating well is essential as you take steps to good mental health.
- Good for growth. A balanced diet is crucial for children and adolescents. As the body grows it is important to receive the right nutrients so that cells are built and maintained and the body grows at the right pace.
- Better skin and hair. A healthy balanced diet also improves your looks. Eating well contributes to healthy skin and hair and a “glow” that makes you look younger.