Facts About Carbohydrate Diet

Facts About Carbohydrate Diet

Paleo, Dukan, Atkins, and South Beach are some examples of carbohydrate diets that are often followed to lose weight. However, it is necessary to observe whether this diet is safe or not.

A carbohydrate diet is an eating pattern that reduces carbohydrate intake or avoids foods that contain high carbohydrates, in order to lose weight. Examples of carbohydrate foods are pasta, bread, rice, cereals, as well as fruits and vegetables that contain carbohydrates. This carbohydrate diet usually recommends the consumption of foods high in protein and fat.

Why Choose a Carbohydrate Diet?

Simple carbohydrates (such as those found in sugar, white bread, pasta, crackers, and cereals) have a high glycemic index. That is, these foods cause a sudden and sharp increase in blood sugar. If not used, the blood sugar will be stored as fat.

Under normal conditions, the body burns carbohydrates to be used as fuel or energy. When carbohydrate intake is drastically reduced by going on a carbohydrate diet, the body's metabolism will enter the process of ketosis, which is burning fat to get an energy source. When fat is burned and becomes the main source of energy, you will lose weight.

A low-carb diet is believed to help prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), and cardiovascular disease. In addition, a low-carbohydrate diet can increase good cholesterol or HDL, so it is considered very beneficial for heart health. However, there is not enough evidence to support this claim, so further research is needed.

How to Do a Carbohydrate Diet

It is quite difficult to completely eliminate carbohydrates from your daily food intake. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. If carbohydrate intake is reduced suddenly and drastically, various side effects such as fatigue, headache, bad breath, fatigue, constipation, or diarrhea, may be experienced.

In addition, in the long term, a carbohydrate diet can cause the body to lack vitamins or minerals, cause bone loss, and increase the risk of digestive disorders and various chronic diseases. Carbohydrate diets are also not recommended for pregnant women, because they are not safe for the fetus they contain.

Research shows that a low-carb diet is thought to be more effective in losing weight in the first year than a low-fat diet. But after a year, the weight loss between the two diets was the same.

A carbohydrate diet is thought to be safe in the short term, but it is not clear whether there are long-term health risks. This is because most studies last less than a year.

Some health experts believe that replacing calories from carbohydrates with calories from animal fats and protein intake in large quantities, can actually increase the risk of heart disease or certain cancers. Getting calories from protein in high amounts is also not recommended for people with kidney disease. Nutritionists still doubt the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate diet, especially if the diet recommends limiting healthy foods, such as whole grains, and vegetables and fruits.

Here's how to do the right carbohydrate diet, namely:
  • Instead of limiting carbohydrate intake, you are encouraged to reduce sugary foods, such as candy, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, and soft drinks with added sugar. Because if consumed frequently, foods and drinks high in calories and sugar can cause weight gain and increase the risk of tooth decay.
  • Sufficient carbohydrate intake of about 0-30 grams of the total meal portion. Add protein and good fats that do not contain cholesterol, such as olive oil and avocado, to meet energy needs.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • It is recommended to eat healthier carbohydrate sources, such as whole grains, potatoes, shirataki noodles, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and low-fat dairy products with nutrients that are beneficial to the body. The fiber in these foods can help keep digestion healthy and keep you full longer.
Keep in mind, everyone's calorie and energy needs are different based on gender, age, daily activities, and health conditions. If you are considering going on a carbohydrate diet, first consult with a nutritionist to see if the diet is right for you or not.