Low carb diets are another fad that claims that you can lose weight quickly and easily. The idea behind it is to limit the number of carbohydrates consumed daily.
Unfortunately, the restriction of carbohydrates in your diet is clearly dangerous and has many negative side effects, such as mood swings, loss of concentration, just to name a few. The reason why low carb diets do not work very well is that they starve your body of energy. Carbohydrates are the source of your daily energy, and when you cut them off you become tired, depressed and unhappy… and could affect all areas of your life (such as work and relationships).
Myths about low carb diets: Everything you need to know
The average individual doesn’t really understand what role of carbohydrates plays in our diets. The chief consensus is that, reduce your carbohydrates and lose weight. That is not entirely true. Eating carbohydrates is like putting coal on the fire. It is really the body’s main source of energy.
Types of Carbs
There are two types of carbohydrates, the simple type, which is the sugars, and the complex type, which are the starches. Although not linked to the simple or complex types of carbohydrates, fibre is another carbohydrate that is not absorbed by the body. Fibre is all-important in that it aids in digestion and can be important in the prevention of disease.
Simple sugars called monosaccharides are broken down into glucose, fructose, and galactose. They are found in white sugar, brown sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, and fructose corn syrup, which are often found in many juices.
Complex carbohydrates are no more than simple carbohydrate molecules linked together and are the basis of what we call starchy foods. These are our bread, crackers, cereals, pasta, and rice. Usually, most of our foods contain a mixture of simple and complex carbohydrates. So you can see how pervasive carbohydrates are in our food chain.
The body treats the absorption of the simple and complex carbohydrates differently during the digestive process. The complex carbohydrates are broken into sugars and this is the coal fueling the fires, creating the energy that enters the bloodstream and keeps the muscles and organs working, doing their designated jobs.
The simple carbohydrates are more readily absorbed into your bloodstream for a quick jolt of energy. This happens when you eat a candy bar or the touted energy bars, or when you drink a sugared drink.
Complex sugars are however absorbed much more slowly and take longer to release energy into the body.
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load
A measurement for how the body converts the ingested carbohydrates into sugar is called the “glycemic index” (GI). This glycemic index measures how quickly a food is digested causing your blood sugar to rise. Staying away from foods with a high glycemic index will prevent the body from increasing the insulin release. A lower amount of insulin prevents the increased body’s desire for food.
When eating a serving of a particular food, it can raise the blood sugar at the time of ingestion. That is called the “glycemic load” (GL). Foods that are high in GI and GL levels can be precursors in the development of type 2 diabetes, hearts disease and cancer of the colon, breast, and pancreas. They are also responsible for the increase in obesity that has been increasing so rapidly all over the world.
Effect of Low Carb Diets
Many individuals on a low carbohydrate diet will find that their energy levels are lower than usual. A diet that is low carb and that lacks essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy body places it at a risk for a disease.
Our bodies need sufficient proteins and fats to maintain the integrity of our muscles and organs, most importantly the heart, which is a muscle. The immune system must also have these nutrients to function at optimum levels. Reducing the protein and fat intake can take a severe toll on our health.
Balancing the diet with the proper proportions of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates can assure the individual that they will maintain a more healthful, energized body. Ensure your diet packed with fibre in addition to the above nutrients.
How to successfully follow a Low carb diet
Here are ways you can follow a low carb diet to create a healthful diet.
The majority of people going on low carb diets are doing so to lose weight. In doing so they are also cutting down on all fats. This will bring down their purpose. In order to lose weight, the body requires a certain amount of fat. Essential fatty acids, as the name implies is an essential part of our diets. The body does not produce these essential nutrients, so it is mandatory we supply them in our diets.
Essential fatty acids are found in fish oils, such as salmon, bluefish and other deep-sea fish. Vegetable oils and olive oil are other excellent sources of fatty acids, as are fresh fruits, nuts, and avocados. Include animal proteins in your diet at least once or twice a week. Trim excess fats from all meats including poultry and lean beef.
Monitor Your Portions
It is important to monitor your portion size. Restaurants are killing us with kindness. The portions have been growing over the years, better to entice more business. The individual needs to react in their own best interests, by eating less of these portions. Taking home part of that portion can be an answer, and you will have another meal the next day.
When eating meat or poultry, the portion should be no larger than the size of the palm of your hand. With any of the other food accompaniments, they too should be of a portion that can fit in your hand.
Eating 3 meals daily as we have been taught is not the best way. Firstly, do not skip breakfast. Doing this will increase your hunger and you will tend to eat more at the next meal. Eating 5 or even 6 small meals daily will put less stress on your digestive system. Your body will be able to assimilate more nutrients from these smaller meals.
Quick Tips to Clean Eating
- Make sure you try as much as possible to stay away from processed foods. Do not eat “white” foods, bread, rice, and potatoes. Eat bread that is made with 100% whole-wheat flour.
- Increase your diet with green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans.
- Do not drink the sugared carbonated beverages. Replace these with fruit juices. Drink plenty of water.
- Restrict the use of high-calorie salad dressings. Instead use oil, such as olive or canola oil and vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is excellent. You should also add a little lemon juice when eating salads. These acids help lower the glycemic index of the foods.
The class of foods you eat in proper proportions will give you the energy, and help maintain a healthy weight. Carbohydrates, 40 grams: Proteins 30 grams: Fats 30 grams on a daily basis will provide a healthy diet. Be sure to add 30 to 40 grams of fibre in addition to the above foods.