Pictures of food have become quite common on social media. But you may have noticed that not many of these pictures have items like bread, rice or pasta in them. The reason is quite simple; low carb diets have become quite popular and many people have spoken in favour of these trending diets.
But social media alone should not be the basis on which we should decide whether a diet is good enough to be followed or not. Also, diets cannot be substituted for gyms when it comes to achieving fitness goals. In order to be certain that consuming a lower quantity of carbohydrates in a day is really a good idea or not, we definitely need to turn to science to find the answers.
Evidence which proves that low carb diet is good for weight loss
In the short term, which means for about three months, there is plenty of evidence which proves that low carbohydrate diets are beneficial for weight loss. However, in the long term, studies were not able to prove conclusively that a low carb diet had any major advantage over reduced calorie diets.
Any knowledgeable nutritionist would caution you against following a low carbohydrate diet which hasn’t been planned in the right way. Following such plans can lead to a deficiency of nutrients which would defeat the purpose of following a diet. Careful planning must be put into the task of coming up with a low-carbohydrate diet if we wish to achieve good results.
The first question that is likely to baffle you is what exactly qualifies as a low-carbohydrate diet. According to some experts it is consuming not more than 130g of carbohydrates in a day, some say it should be as low as 50g per day and some say that it should be less than 45 percent of energy. The logic behind consuming lower amount of carbohydrates in a day is that it reduces our energy intake and causes rapid weight loss.
Advantages of a low-carb diet
It is known that low carbohydrate diets are particularly beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes as it helps them to manage their blood glucose levels. It has also been proven to be effective for those without this condition with regard to weight loss.
These results have been easily produced by individuals in their personal lives but scientists have found these outcomes to be particularly difficult to replicate in laboratories. It could be because when a person decides to go on a diet voluntarily they tend to make healthier food choices in other times as well.
What the low carbohydrate diet has in common with other types of diet is a potential deficiency of nutrients. If the diet has not been planned appropriately, it can result in a reduced intake of fibre, B vitamins and other key nutrients.
It is also common for people to experience flu like symptoms which normally passes without any consequence. The symptoms reported by people which follow low carbohydrate are similar to those which have reported by followers of keto diet in their initial days of having started it.
In the case of keto diet, reports of people having body odour and bad breath are quite common. The digestive system is severely impacted when the consumption of fiber is reduced.
When is a low carb diet medically recommended?
According to Diabetes UK nutrition guidelines, a low carb diet is recommended for those who are at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes or already have type 2 diabetes. But before a person is asked to follow this diet, there should be an in-depth discussion regarding a person’s health, goals and preferences.
The reason behind its popularity
It is possible to achieve the same results that one can achieve by following a reduced calorie diet, which is lowering their intake of calories. You will find many celebrities who have openly advocated low carb diets for weight management and many nutritionists have also spoken in favour of it. However, it does not help to focus exclusively on nutrients and not foods. It is possible for us to improve the quality of our diet by developing a deep understanding of the food that we eat as it can help us to lose weight and improve our health.