Facts You Need to Know About Low Carb Diet

Many people especially women are very conscious about their weight. In fact, I have friends who are observing certain diet programs just to lose weight or to maintain their weight. Achieving the ideal weight for your height and age is especially important to be physically fit and to avoid certain diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

One particular diet that is gaining in popularity among people on a weight loss regime is the low carb diet. A low carb diet may involve consuming low carb fruits and vegetables or counting calories like those who are observing the 1000 calorie diet. However, some people do not really fully understand what a low carb diet is and what its implications are.

Definition

A low carb diet is a diet plan that involves limiting your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates occur naturally in many foods such as in grains, nuts, legumes, milk, certain fruits and starchy vegetables. They are also present in commercially prepared foods in the form of added sugar or starch. A low carb diet instead promotes consuming more fats and protein. There are different types of low carb diet plans and among the most popular are the South Beach, Atkins, Zone and Sonoma diet plans.

Purpose

The main goal of a low carb diet is to help a person lose weight. Some also promise to offer other benefits such as in reducing the risk of cancer or other serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Carbohydrates are converted by the body into sugar, which in turn is the body’s main source of energy. However, if a person takes in more carbohydrates than what is needed for energy, the extra sugar is then converted by the body into fat. Proponents of a low carb diet believe that consuming a smaller amount of carbohydrates may result in lower level of insulin, which in turn forces the body to burn stored fat. Ultimately, it will help you remove excess weight.

Typical Menu

Generally, a low carb diet includes more meat, fish, poultry, eggs, non-starchy vegetables and low carb fruits. Grains, breads, sweets, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, beans and pastas are normally consumed in very limited amounts. It is typical for low carb diets to limit the daily carbohydrate consumption to between 50 and 150 grams. Some diet plans even totally restrict carbohydrate intake during the initial phase.

Risk

A low carb diet may be effective in shedding excess weight, but it is not without certain risks. Sudden reduction of carbohydrates in your diet may cause dizziness, headache, fatigue, weakness and constipation. To some extent, some diet plans that restrict too much carbohydrates result in insufficient dietary fiber of nutritional deficiencies.

One of the more serious side effects of a low carb diet is ketosis. Ketosis normally results when your diet plan restricts you to less than 20 grams of carbohydrates in a day. Ketosis is a condition when your body has no sufficient glucose for energy source, causing the body to burn stored fat unnecessarily and to build up ketones. A person suffering from ketosis may experience mental fatigue, headache, nausea and even bad breath. Some researchers also suggest that consuming more animal protein and fats may put you at risk of certain cancers and heart disease.

If you intend to lose weight through a low carb diet, it is important that you should know first the above mentioned facts. Even better, seek advice from your doctor about your plan.