Carbohydrates have definitely been a topic of controversy when it comes to weight loss. Though carbohydrates may cause the scale to drop initially, there are many reasons why it may be not the healthiest route to go for you!
Low carb diets became popular shortly after everyone was told: “fats are bad”. For many that had completely eliminated or avoided fats, taking out carbohydrates seemed easy. Suddenly people could load up on mayo, butter, red meats, and bacon. Skipping out on bread, many fruits, and pasta seemed manageable. Cutting out almost an entire food group resulted in some weight loss, and many people started to believe this style of eating was effective. But is this the right approach for you?
What to consider before squashing carbohydrates?
Your energy may suffer:
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Some of the healthiest foods on the planet contain moderate to high levels of carbohydrates like oats, and fruits! Though these foods are higher in carbohydrate content, they nourish the body and provide us with energy and nutrients. Most health experts suggest getting around 50% of our daily calories from carbohydrates. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the human brain requires 130 grams of carbohydrate a day to function optimally—and that’s a minimum. When carbohydrates fall below this level, the body begins burning fat for fuel instead of glycogen (stored carbohydrates). This is a similar response to being in starvation! Turning fat stores into blood sugar results in ketones. For some, ketones cause constipation, nausea, lack of concentration, and fatigue.
You may consume too much fat
Many people that decide to go low carb, compensate by going overboard on their fats to stay full and satisfied. When the famous Atkins low carb diet came out, it allowed up to 26 percent of daily calories from saturated fat. This allowed people to eat as much butter and bacon as they wanted. Many health experts suggest over 10 percent of saturated fat daily can negatively impact health. The risk of many chronic conditions like heart disease begins to rise. Once you start limiting and avoiding pasta, fruits, and beans, it becomes hard to avoid too many fatty animal foods. How many foods can one cut out of their diet without being left with limited options?
Your digestion may suffer
Foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans contain tons of fiber. Getting adequate fiber daily is crucial for a strong and healthy digestive system. Fiber is responsible for cleaning out the buildup within the intestinal tract and avoiding constipation. Many individuals that go low carb, or completely avoid carbs, suffer tremendously with regular bowel movements, and indigestion. Another really important role fiber plays include feeding our gut bacteria. Many fibers are referred to as prebiotics – which means they are fermented in the colon by our healthy gut bacteria. The products of this fermentation process are short-chain fatty acids. These help keep the colon lining healthy. This fermentation process also kills off the harmful bacteria within the colon responsible for illness and disease. This is why fiber can also reduce your risk of colon cancer.
You’ll miss out
Health is about more than just what we eat, it is about feeling good both mentally and physically. Many people that choose to limit their carbohydrate intake struggle with finding enjoyment in their meals, eating around friends and family, and can begin to build an unhealthy relationship with food, specifically carbohydrates. This can cause an increase in stress levels, which in turn, can lead to weight gain! Finding a balance is usually the best approach to keep both the body, and mind healthy and happy.
Struggling to lose weight and not sure what the best approach is for you? If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to our in-house nutritionist at House of Wellness. Email us at email@example.com or call us at 1-844-840-WELL(9355).
Written by Allison Sherkin, RHN, CHNC
Allison is the in-house nutritionist at House of Wellness. She is a registered holistic nutritionist with experience in weight loss, mental health, hormonal balance, and digestion. She is passionate about helping others elevate their health and truly discover their highest potential! Allison believes in products made with integrity and focuses on effective solutions to help her customers and clients.