Diets are usually one of the great allies in the quest to achieve any weight loss or mass gain goal. They establish limits for the main macronutrients (fibers, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) in order to control the calories ingested during the day. In this sense, we cannot talk about this subject without mentioning the impacts of social networks: in search of a body within established aesthetic standards, many people resort to far-fetched diets that reduce carbohydrates, which generates negative impacts on health. Today we are going to tell you the truth about low carb diets that nobody tells you about.
What are low carb diets?
Low carb diets are based on lowering carbohydrate intake as it involves cutting back on high carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, sugary foods and white rice. Instead, this diet involves higher intake of protein and healthy fats like nuts, olive oil and avocado.
This type of diet is an option for people who are looking to lose weight, because even with a reduction in carbohydrate intake, you remain satiated, due to the ingestion of other foods with a high value of proteins and fats, as macronutrients take longer to digest in the digestion process.
In addition to helping with weight loss, a low-carb diet is also free of ultra-processed foods and contains excellent amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is beneficial for lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels, as well as preventing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
However, there are two sides to everything: the positive, which has already been mentioned, and the negative. Studies¹ show that Low Carb Diets without nutritional clinical follow-up can lead to physical indisposition, later weight gain due to the rebound effect, in addition to headaches, diarrhea, states of weakness and muscle cramps. In the next lines we will make more explicit about this.
What are the harms of a low carb diet?
Unlike other articles, if you Google them, they always only talk about the benefits. Here, on the contrary, we are going to introduce you to the side that requires a little more of your attention: the contraindications.
Low carb diets require planning and preparation. If they are not done properly, it is relatively easy to develop nutritional deficiencies, some of which have already been mentioned in the previous topic. But beyond that, according to a review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition², reducing the amount of carbohydrates may not provide enough B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, iron, calcium and magnesium.
The "demon" that people call carbohydrates is the preferred source of energy for your brain so as not to lead to confusion and mental exhaustion. They are also important for increasing sports performance, especially when it comes to endurance activities, as “It helps maintain your glycogen stores during exercise, maintain your disposition during physical activity and help with post-exercise recovery, avoiding tiredness and fatigue”. (See the article on the function of carbohydrates)
It doesn't stop there! One study³ with a sample of 15,428 adults aged between 45 and 64 years, identified that the percentages of carbohydrate intake were associated with increased mortality, with the minimum risk observed in the carbohydrate intake of 50 to 55%. Therefore, it is imperative that you follow this diet carefully, and very well accompanied by a nutritional professional.
What are the benefits of a low carb diet?
To lose weight. This is the word that defines the main benefit of the low carb diet. Some authors⁴ argue that “the low carbohydrate strategy contributes to the improvement of metabolic syndrome and weight loss”, which contributes to the improvement of the lipid profile, a significant increase in HDL (the good cholesterol), a decrease intriglycerides and glycemic control, in addition to improving some parameters of cardiovascular risk.
One study⁵ which compared diets with a low carbohydrate content and another with a low fat content found that both obtained results in terms of weight loss, but that the first (low carb) resulted in much more significant losses.
According to a review recently published in Current Diabetes Reports⁶, following a ketogenic diet for three weeks can lead to better blood glucose measurement results and a reduced need for diabetic medications. In addition to helping control diabetes, low carb diets have shown⁷ beneficial to the composition of our gut flora, favoring the growth of species that can have a positive impact on our gut-brain axis and our nervous system.
And there? Which side are you on? You can already see that it will depend a lot on the situation, that there are benefits and harms, the ideal is to seek a nutritionist to adapt your diet to your goals, with the practice of physical activities.
What to eat on a low carb diet?
Swedish doctor specializing in family medicine, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, has created a list of Low carb foods and drinks⁸ to be able to help people who are on low carb diets.
What to eat?
- Fishes and sea food;
- Natural fats and high-fat sauces: using oléo or coconut milk or olive oil are also good options.
- Vegetables that grow above ground;
- Dairy products;
What to drink?
The doctor adds: "Guest to get out? Celebrating? You don’t have to mess up your diet”, suggesting to eat 70% chocolate with care, and be careful with alcohol - not to avoid it -, you just have to be careful with excess.
What avoid on a low carb diet?
We will still use Dr. Eenfeldt's tip here: “Be very skeptical of specialty ‘low-carb’ products like pasta or chocolate. They are usually full of carbs when you see the creative marketing.”.
What to avoid eating?
- Beans and lentils;
- Fruits: Some are quite high in carbohydrates and sugar.
What avoid drinking?
Beer: here the list is not big. It contains more carbohydrates than dry wine or straight liquor - drinks that should be prioritized if you are on low carb diets.
3 mistakes made on low carb diets:
As we've already discussed, low carb diets prioritize protein, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables and can help people maintain a caloric deficit and lose weight. However, low carb diets don't work and can do more harm than good if you make the following mistakes.
1. Drastically lower the consumption of fats
Remember that we quoted an article where he suggested comparing a low carb diet with low fat diets and both give results for weight loss. However, using both at once is not positive, precisely because we are talking about 2 of the main macronutrients essential for a healthy diet. This favors the non-cconsumption of calories needed for the diet, and can lead to physical and mental fatigue, which will directly harm your training practice.
2. Eating the same meals over and over again
That's for any diet. Eating the same foods over and over again is not beneficial. What we see is people who are on a low carb diet eating chicken and salad straight away, this will generate stress in the same food. Being interesting to be more creative in your food. Here are some website tips:
- 70 low carb recipes to enjoy without overdoing the calories
- Low-Carb Recipes: The 200 Best Low-Carb Recipes
- 40 easy Low Carb recipes and tastes to assemble the meals of the week
3. Thinking Low Carb Means Zero Carb
Here it is! You need to understand that many foods already have a high amount of carbohydrates naturally, such as sugar and pasta, but this does not mean that vegetables and eggs do not have carbohydrates, they have a smaller volume of this macronutrient. Especially because it is essential that you consume carbohydrates to have enough energy.butduring everyday life - protein alone doesn't give much effect. A great example is our Foodz Pro, a low carb meal without added maltodextrin and sweetened with stevia, it is not zero carbohydrate, it just has a very low value (17g), being a low carb product.
Is Foodz Pro good for low carb diets?
I've already started brushing up on Foodz Pro, and yes, it's ideal for this type of diet. Our product is the first low-carb meal with 40g of vegetable proteins, which corresponds to 80% of the recommended daily value, which will help with post-workout recovery and repair injuries caused, for example, by strength training and endurance competitions .
Foodz Pro, unlike Foodz Original and Foodz Coffee, has no added maltrodextrin⁹ which is a type of complex carbohydrate that is produced by the enzymatic transformation of corn starch. Fats come from coconut milk, possessing very interesting nutritional properties, even to come one of the most nutritious fruits in the world.
The entire composition is ideal for people who are looking to gain muscle mass and is a great ally in their low carb diet.
2 PRO Bags + 1 Shaker (26) - R$23.00 per meal