Going low carb can improve your health and make you look and feel better – learn how to do it right. The low carb lifestyle has met with some resistance by those concerned with the health effects of reducing carbohydrates in a dietary plan. Like any diet, individuals living the low carb life must ensure that they are consuming enough vitamins, nutrients, and energy sources to keep the body operating in peak condition. While you can meet all of your nutritional requirements when living low carb, there are specific risks to the low carb diet that should be considered and monitored.
Common Concerns with Low Carb Dieting
Carbohydrates includes fibre which is essential to good health. Low Carb living does not mean cutting out all carbs – only the bad types. People who decide to start a low carb diet without understanding the importance of fibre can bring harm to themselves. A sudden drop in fibre consumption can cause constipation, serious illnesses in the digestive system such as diverticulitis, some cancers, and even cardiovascular disease. However, fibre can be found in many sources that are low carb, including wheat bran, dark, leafy greens, broccoli, and blackberries.
Individuals on a low carb diet must also be careful that their diet is not too high in saturated fats or too low in vital nutrients. Foods high in saturated and trans fats have been found to be a major risk factor for heart disease, strokes, high cholesterol, and some cancers. Therefore, foods high in saturated fats, such as fatty meats and full-fat dairy products, should be eaten in moderation or avoided in favour of lean meats, fish, and low carb nuts and seeds.
Additionally, a wide range of low carb fruits and vegetables should be eaten in order to intake as many vitamins and nutrients as possible.
Insulin levels can also be affected by a drop in carb intake. When carbohydrates enter the body they are quickly converted into glucose. The amount of glucose in the bloodstream determines the amount of insulin produced. A slow, steady trickle of glucose such as that provided by a low carb lifestyle will require less insulin than the quick spike of glucose converted from a candy bar or piece of white bread. Lower insulin levels have also been linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining steady insulin levels by controlling the quantity and type of carbohydrates eaten, combined with supplementing with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and by exercising regularly is a recipe for success.
Tips to Ensure Nutritional Requirements Are Being Met
The health benefits of a low carb diet are numerous. Whenever major changes are made to your diet, however, care should be taken that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
To ensure all your nutritional requirements are being met, try incorporating these tips into your lifestyle. By becoming conscientious about what you are consuming, you will be on your way to looking good, feeling great, and living longer and healthier!
- Keep your diet varied by including a wide range of veggies, fruits, and proteins.
- Plan out your meals to ensure you are meeting the Recommended Daily Intake of all nutrients.
- Take nutritional supplements such as a daily multivitamin and drinkable fibre (if do not get enough fibre from food).
- As with any diet, see your family doctor before making any major changes to your lifestyle.