It’s the 21st century and you’ve probably heard or come across the word “low-carb diet” while reading or surfing the net. The 3 week diet plan became a sensation after it was introduced as a weight loss magic by Brian Flatt, a cardiologist in the 70’s.
You must have guessed it but the word “low-carb” is the shortened form of “low carbohydrate”. This diet emphasized high protein and low carbohydrate. Low-carb diets such as the 3 week diet (a plan which involved sticking to a low-carb food calendar for 3 weeks) aided weight loss by encouraging the fat burning process.
A process often referred to as dietary ketones, these ketones are also known to numb appetite. Although, this miracle weight loss diet did work wonders, it is not out of place to question how safe this diet is. Does a drastic reduction in the amount of carbohydrate consumed not have a potential side effect?
Well, recent studies claim that low-carb diets may not be the best method if you are looking to stay healthy. Apparently, diets low in carbohydrate may ultimately contribute to premature death. The body needs an average of 26% calories from carbohydrate, anything lesser than this percentage poses a potential risk to the health.
Despite these risks, low-carb diets continue to gain popularity in the weight management sphere, especially among people with unrealistic weight loss goals.
As much as low carb diets do work, following this diet for a long time may have negative effects on the health. However, if the low carb diet is followed correctly, like the 3 week diet by substituting starchy foods with foods high in fibre such as lettuce or broccoli, then you may avoid the side effects associated with low carb diets.
Studies have found that low carb diets were associated with a 15% higher risk of total mortality, a 13% higher risk of cardiovascular mortality and an 8% higher risk of cancer mortality, compared to high carb diets.
Side Effects of Low Carb Diets
Apart from the low-carb related risks mentioned earlier, these are some other known side effects of the low-carb diet;
• Extreme Dehydration: because the body is producing more ketones than necessary, people on low-carb diets will constantly feel dehydrated. The trick is to increase the amount of water intake while on a low carb diet.
• A constant feeling of constipation: Due to the incessant dehydration, people on low carb diet may also experience a constant feeling of “fullness”, “bloating” or constipation. For this problem, constant hydration is required.
• Fruity or Acetone-like Breath: people on low-carb diets may experience bad breath or a mouth odour similar to the smell of acetone. This is also due to the massive production of ketones in the body. The solution is to constantly rehydrate since brushing or flossing the teeth will not eradicate the smell.
Still want to go on a Low Carb Diet?
If the answer is yes, then it is strongly advised to stick to the 3 week diet. The 3 week diet is a safe duration to go on a low-carb diet. Within this timeframe, you can achieve an optimal result. However, exceeding the 3 week diet is synonymous with attracting the health-related risks of a low-carb diet. Also, do not forget to complement the low level of carbohydrate in the body with a regular intake of supplements such as vitamins K, to balance the nutrients in the body.