No or Low Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss: The Risks

Low Carbohydrate Diet

The requirements of a healthy diet remain the same; it should contain all the necessary macronutrients. Feeding regularly on healthy diets is a major recommendation for good health. To achieve good health, the body mixes all three macronutrients
• Fats
• Proteins and
• Carbohydrates

What are No/Low Carbohydrate Diets

No carbohydrate diet and low carbohydrate diet mean the same and refer to food with small concentration of carbohydrates.  Carbohydrate is one of the major sources of energy (calorie) for the human body. These diets are used for varied purposes but also have a good number of shortcomings.

Uses of No/Low carbohydrate diet

Used for weight loss
Using a protein rich but low carbohydrate diet is very effective for losing weight. When carbohydrates concentration is low, the body obtains energy from glycogen, the alternative source. This leads to loss of body weight.

Loss of water
Some water is retained in the glycogen stored in the body. When glycogen is used to generate energy in the absence of carbohydrates, the retained water is lost. The consequence of this loss is reduced body weight.

Alternate sources
Alternate sources of calories such as meat, fish and poultry can be consumed as the restrictions on fat and proteins are small.

Cons of a no/low carbohydrate diet

Has long term consequences
When we restrict ourselves to a limited number of dishes, we are in effect reducing the quantity of food and calorie intake. Prolonged dietary restrictions beyond the initial weight loss have negative consequences.

Risk of heart related problems
Increasing the consumption of saturated fats, cholesterol and animal proteins raises the lipid concentration. This occurs particularly for the “bad” cholesterol, homocysteine. Concentration of cholesterol can go a long way in blocking arteries causing several heart problems.

Risk of increased blood pressure
Continuous intake of low carbohydrate diets with a reduction in the consumption of fiber-rich diet such as fruits and vegetables generally cause the blood pressure to increase as time goes on.

Dizziness and Fainting
When the carbohydrate concentration in the blood is too low, blood pressure decreases. This can lead to dizziness and even fainting.

Excess protein intake from sources high in purines can cause gout. This can also reduce calcium absorption leading to a situation known as osteoporosis.

For health reasons therefore, all essential macronutrients should be included in a healthy diet.

This entry was posted in Diet