Are Concerns About Low Carb Diets Justified

by GuestPoster on December 29, 2011

A low carb diet is designed to drastically cut your carbohydrate intake. In most cases, the carb intake is very small, becoming a small fraction of the number of carbs found in a normal American diet. This results in ketosis which is a state of metabolism in which the body is using its fat for fuel.

When in ketosis, the main fuel for energy is ketones— small carbon fragments that are produced during the break down of body fats. This causes one to feel fuller for a longer period of time and thus eat less than normal. This reduction in appetite ends up leading to weight loss because the low carb foods cause the body to actually not feel hungry.

In the short term, this plan has no serious threat to one’s health but experts believe that there are potential problems with a low carb diet when the long run perspective is considered. These experts have made an analysis of several diet studies.

Dr, Ame Astrup, who is an obesity expert, said that some of the common complaints of people under the Atkins diet are headaches, muscle weakness, constipation and diarrhea. He claims that there are more Atkins enthusiasts who have these side effects than those under conservative diets. He believes that these unpleasant side effects are indicators that Atkins is not good as a long term diet alternative.

Another study reviewed by Dr. Astrup is the research done by William Yancy of Duke University. His conclusion is that there are more people from the low carb group than who are in the low fat diet groups and we don’t see any health effects in this population. Therefore, the chances of problems developing from limiting carbs is slight.

Atkins and other low carb diets are successful in achieving weight loss temporarily. However, experts believe that a majority of the weight loss is actually due to water loss. People who eat a lot of carbohydrates store a lot of fluid which is washed-out. They also insist that real weight loss should result in losing fat and not only water. This makes sense for the first week or two of the diet but for people who stay on the diet long term, a significant reduction in fat cells is also seen.

There really has been no scientific studies that prove a low carb diet is unhealthy.  In fact, the known health effects from obesity will probably outweigh any potential problems developed by losing the extra fat.

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