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The good and the bad of low carb diet

In today’s world where being healthy is important to many of us, indulging in a low carb diet has been gaining more popularity than ever before. This trend is believed to have started way back in 1972, when Robert Atkins, a cardiologist had written about it in his book called “Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution”. This diet has eventually given birth to many other diet forms including Zone Diet and Paleo Diet, which have gained equal popularity. However, all these diet plans boil down to one goal only - to reduce the intake of carbs on a daily basis. But like every other diet plan, this too has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Before trying this type of diet, you might want to know what a low carb diet does to your body and what kind of repercussions you can expect. Here are some of the advantages of practicing a low carb diet -

  • If you are on your journey to lose weight, one of the best ways is to practice a low-carb diet. When you eat low amounts of carbs, your body will be forced to break down the stored fats, thus resulting in weight loss. This is precisely why a low carb diet is widely accepted around the world.
  • A low carb diet aids weight loss through the thermic effect as well. Instead of counting calories, if you develop a low carb diet plan where calories are sourced from proteins instead of carbs, this will lead to a high thermic effect where you will lose weight at a faster rate.
  • Your blood sugar levels will automatically decrease if you continue to follow a low carb diet. People who are at risk of diabetes should religiously follow a low carb diet to stay safe and avoid complications in the future.
  • In addition to controlling your levels of sugar, it also aids in keeping your blood pressure under control. Hence it is a good option for you if you suffer from hypertension.
  • It helps prevent a lot of chronic diseases in the long run like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hyperinsulinemia, and obesity.

Despite all these benefits, we just cannot ignore some of the risks of this type of diet. Hence it’s always good to be aware of these if you have decided to adopt a low carb diet.

  • Low carb diet, by itself, is not an instant solution to lose weight. In simple words, just following a low carb diet is not sufficient. Hence you would still need to keep a check on how much food you consume daily. It’s not true that you can eat how much ever you want as long as you consume fewer carbs.
  • A low carb diet means high protein intake. Now, unless you balance this in your overall nutrition plan, it may create a different issue, since high protein intake creates pressure on your kidneys, leading to a long term impact on your health.
  • You could be more prone to osteoporosis if you follow a low carb diet. When you consume more and more protein in this diet, you are more likely to lose the calcium present in your body through excretion. Because of this, the body will replenish the need for calcium through the bones, leading to osteoporosis in the long run. However, one thing to be noted here is that this is a result of high protein and not low carbs. So one can cleverly devise a plan that includes appropriate amounts of protein
  • You are more likely to develop bowel problems as a result of a prolonged low carb diet. This is because in a low carb diet, your fibre intake is drastically decreased. This may lead to constipation. Ensure you compensate for this by adding fibrous items or low-carb leafy vegetables to your diet.
  • To bring a regularity in this form of diet might seem like a task to you. More often than not, the food you eat in a low carb diet is bland and tasteless. Hence you would need to put in some efforts to make your diet more interesting and delicious. This is undoubtedly accompanied by a lot of planning from the start.

With that being said, it’s important to strike a balance between high carbs and low carbs. Do keep in mind that this is a low carb diet, not a “no-carb diet”. Hence keep restrictions in moderation and try to focus on regularity. Also one important thumb rule is to check not only the quantity of calories or carbs, but the real quality of nutritive balance of your chosen diet plan. Also read about the Chola’s health insurance plans and policies in India.

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