Everyone and their mother has an opinion about the low carb diet. Does it work, is it bad, good?
Let’s clear something up. Most people who advocate for low carb diets, “paleo” diets, and Atkins diets are not doctors, nutritionists, or people with scientific backgrounds.
Low-carb, Paleo, and Atkins diets are NOT GOOD FOR YOU!
Our bodies need carbohydrates (glucose). For a biological explanation, just open any nutrition or physiology textbook. We cannot run our bodies well without glucose. Sure, on these diets you might lose weight but why is that our only goal? Isn’t the goal to be healthy and feel good?
Often you lose weight on these diets for either of these two reasons:
- Any diet where you cut out junk food and exercise more will help you lose weight.
- You are mainly losing water weight, which is easily gained back.
When you restrict carbohydrates, your body enters a state called ketosis which can, if prolonged, cause fatigue, muscle weakness, poor thyroid function, decreased mental capacities, etc. Your brain and central nervous system run on glucose. When you cut carbs out, your body declares a state of emergency. It even breaks down muscle just to try and survive. This isn’t healthy or sustainable!
Risks of high protein/low carb diets:
-High cholesterol and saturated fat: Animal products contain plenty of these things that increase our risk of heart disease!
-Kidney strain: Kidneys filter protein waste products. Too much protein is tough on kidneys!
-Kidney stones and osteoporosis: Excess protein has been implicated to cause kidney stones and leach calcium from your body!
-Weight gain: Excess protein that your body doesn’t use is turned into fat also!
Of course we should all try to cut out empty, processed, sugary carbs like donuts and cookies, but we should never replace a delicious, healthy slice of whole grain bread for a fat and cholesterol laden steak just because it doesn’t contain carbohydrates!
So what is the best diet?
A whole foods, plant based diet will help you drop extra pounds while still keeping your body vibrant and strong! When you eat this way, it’s sustainable, delicious, and you don’t need to count calories or restrict yourself.