How can a low-carb diet benefit me?
The low-carb approach is based on a belief that lowering carb intake will eventually lower the body’s insulin levels. Consistent low levels of insulin improve cardiometabolic function. While such diets induce significant weight loss in the first six months, research is still underway to understand the exact mechanism and long-term efficacy of a low-carb diet.
A low-carb diet is claimed to cause fewer fluctuations in sugar levels and less rebound hypoglycemia, leading to better satiety. This diet is rich in proteins and good fats, reducing your hunger pangs and frequent snacking.
The ketogenic (keto) diet, a specific version of a low-carb diet, restricts the carbohydrate intake to 20 to 50 grams daily. This causes the body glycogen stores to go down and mobilize fat storage in the body to form ketone bodies. Your body burns fat and not carbs for energy, leading to weight loss. The ketone bodies also exert a protective effect over the nerve cells and muscle mass. The keto diet, it is claimed, slows down the progression of cancer cells, prevents nerve cell degeneration in those with epilepsy, and reduces the inflammatory chemical messengers in the body.
Are there any risks with a low-carb diet?
While a low-carb diet may benefit you in your weight loss journey, it also carries a possibility of a few temporary side effects. These side effects are the result of a sudden and drastic reduction in carbohydrates, which include
- Muscle cramps
Drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake also puts your body into ketosis. Ketosis is a condition in which the fats get converted to ketones. With ketosis, you suffer from bad breath, headache, fatigue, and weakness, especially in the initial days.
In the long run, severe restrictions due to a low-carb diet can also cause problems in your digestive system, along with nutritional deficiencies.
Although many people find a low-carb diet to be an effective diet, there is insufficient evidence to recommend it for all as a go-to diet plan. If you suffer from any preexisting health conditions, do not go on any such fad diets without seeking the expert opinion of a doctor and a registered dietician.