There are many low carbohydrate diets that have gained popularity over the years. Low carb diets such as the Atkin’s Diet, the Zone diet and South Beach Diet have been highly publicized, with many celebrities endorsing the diet plans.
If you are thinking of going on a low carb diet, you may be wondering what type of low carb diet you should undergo. A low carbohydrate diet restricts the amount of carbohydrates you eat and emphasizes on protein and fat.
HOW A LOW CARB DIET WORKS
Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for your heart, brain and many other organs. Normally, the body burns carbohydrates for fuel, but if you are on a low carb diet your body burns its own fat instead.
This is a different metabolic process known as “ketosis”. As a result, your body transforms itself from burning carbohydrates to burning fats, which can lead to a reduction of body fat and weight.
LOW CARB DIET PLAN
Low carb diets generally focus on high-protein food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and non-starchy vegetables.
Foods that are high in carbs such as white rice, pasta, grains, bread, beans, certain fruits and nuts, sweets and starchy vegetables are restricted.
In fact, you may only consume 50 to 150 grams of carbohydrates a day. Some diets may restrict all forms of carb intake for the first few days then gradually add or increase carb intake as you progress.
A sample menu might consist of the following:
- Breakfast: 1 poached egg with sausages, or 1 scrambled egg with tomatoes and mushrooms
- Lunch: 1 medium sized grilled steak with stir-fried peppers, or steamed fish with cilantro and dressing
- Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with steamed asparagus, or pork tenderloin with mustard sauce
Though the low carb diet promotes rapid weight loss and allows you to eat meat until your heart’s content, there are some disadvantages to this type of diet.
For starters, not eating enough carbs will lower your energy levels, which may leave you feeling tired and fatigued.
Low sugar levels will also lead to crankiness and irritability. The reduction of fruits in your diet will also rob you of essential nutrients that your body needs.
Aside from these, there are many more serious repercussions to having a low-carb diet. Since this diet contains a lot of protein and saturated fats, there is a risk for high cholesterol levels which might lead to a number of cardiovascular diseases.
Kidney failure or kidney disease is also a danger because consuming too much protein may put too much strain on the kidneys.
People having a high-protein diet may also excrete more calcium than normal in their urine. This can contribute to osteoporosis and kidney stones.
If you are unsure whether a low carb diet is the right diet plan for you, it is best to consult your physician, who may best advice you on how to proceed.
Although this diet may promote quick weight loss, the long term consequences may outweigh the benefits.
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