Like the ketogenic diet, low carb diets have become very popular around the world as more and more people hop onto the trend, believed to be effective for weight loss and improving health enticed by the promise of quick slim waists result. This is done by excluding or limiting most grains, pasta, bread, sweets, legumes, fruits, and starchy vegetables within the diet and the diet and replacing them with fish, eggs, fats, meat, poultry, nuts, and seeds. Like the wildly popular ketogenic diet, diets that are very low on carbohydrates and just focus on protein and fats may have certain long-term adverse impacts on the health of an individual.
Therefore, if you have been doing a low-carb diet or are someone who always wanted to follow it, here are some possible harmful effects of low-carb diets that you should know about.
Constipation is one of the nastiest side-effects of low-carb diets. Healthy carbohydrates in the form of fiber are also important for digestive health. This is because fiber that is digested slower than other nutrients acts as food for the healthy bacteria in the gut and in its absence the gut flora is imbalanced. Your bowel movements are disturbed due to the lack of soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet. Some other digestive side-effects include bloating and diarrhea.
2. Sluggishness And Fatigue
The body burns carbs to generate energy and if you follow a diet that is extremely low in carbs, then you rob the body of that source since carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for the body. As some of the side-effects of your low-carb diet, you may experience headaches, sluggishness, fatigue, light-headedness, weakness, etc. Frequent light-headedness is a sign that your carb intake levels are dangerously low.
3. Mood Swings
People on low-carb diets have reported feeling irritated more frequently and even experienced anxiety and mood swings this is because a hungry brain is also easily irritable. This usually happens due to the deficiency of glucose in your body. Another potential side-effect of following low-carb diet is decreased motivation and depressive mood.
4. Increased Risk Of Diabetes
As has been concluded by several studies low-carb diets may increase the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes. This is because diets low in carbohydrates and rich in fat can reduce the body’s response to insulin – the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.
5. Frequent Hunger Pangs
They are digested slower than other nutrients and hence, keep your blood sugar levels under check because low-carb diets increase the frequency of hunger pangs, as carbs are the most fulfilling nutrients in your meals. This is one of the reasons why low-carb diets are not very sustainable, that is why people tend to cheat on them more often.
Both excessive consumption and abandoning carbohydrates from your daily meals can be bad for your health. It is important, however, to consider how common these symptoms actually are. However, People on the opposite end of the activity spectrum like marathoners, Ironman competitors, and cyclists have been on a ketogenic diet for up to 3 years without any reported side effects. That is why we must understand what this kind of diet does to the body. With this knowledge, we can prevent or relieve almost all potential side effects and feel better on a low-carbohydrate diet than we did while eating more carbohydrates. Still best to consult a certified nutritionist or dietitian to know whether your carb intake is adequate or low.