Low carb diets are very effective in achieving weight loss when followed. But the key word there is that they should be followed. However, there are controversies about their “healthiness”. Definitely, people get into these diets to lose weight. But what every person getting into this is not only the aspect of losing weight but also as always, keeping the weight off. But it goes beyond that. It also involves being and staying healthy and functional in whatever we do everyday. A slim person is definitely not attractive if he or she is weak from lack of nutrients and energy due to these low carb diets.
The body uses up carbohydrates first as a source of energy. If there are more carbohydrates taken in, the body stores the surplus as fat. If there are fewer carbohydrates taken it, the body is forced to use the stored fat for its energy requirement. The principle of these low carb diets is to take in food low in carbohydrates so that the body is forced to use its stored fat.
By drastically reducing carbohydrates to a small fraction of a person’s diet, the body goes into “ketosis”. The body burns its own fat to convert into energy A person in ketosis is getting energy from ketones. Ketones are little carbon fragments that are created by the breakdown of stored fat. One feels less hungry when his or her body is in ketosis. The end result is that he or she is likely to eat less even if allowed to do so. In effect, the body is transformed from a carbohydrate-burning machine into a fat-burning one, thus making fat the primary energy source. This brings us to the most fundamental fact of dieting: the less fat you have, the lighter you weigh. The end result is the desired weight loss.
There are diets like Atkins that seem to be a dream come true. It stems from its design that a person could eat as much as he or she wants from a wide variety of food that other diets steer away from. Steaks, meat, crab, eggs, all types of protein based food are allowed since the body will burn carbohydrates first and not protein or fats. Basically, it follows the same low carb principle of reducing carbohydrate intake and forcing the body to use fat towards weight loss.
But experts are concerned about the long term safety of the diet. By contemporary medical standards, the risk of heart diseases, stroke, cancer, liver and kidney problems are very extremely high. These risks have been pointed out repeated by a number of health researches on high fat diets.
Other low carb diets are cleansing in nature such as the detox diet. It helps in the health reassessment of one’s lifestyle, eating patterns and focus on foods. Here, one becomes more aware of one’s food intake. However, there are individuals, such as diabetics, people with low blood sugar or eating disorders have to stay clear of it. They will find themselves more in trouble than they are already.
Low carb diets serve their purpose. But there is no substitute for the traditional, proven healthy lifestyle of a balance diet of the basic food groups in the nutritionists’ pyramid order combined with the proper exercise. However, should a person still go through with these diets for whatever reason, he or she should be equipped with knowledge of not only the benefits but most especially the risks. Everyone wants that slim, healthy look. But everyone should also go for health in a sustainable manner.