Slow Carb Diet – Basics And Safety Explained

A slow carb diet or low carbohydrate diet aims to carbohydrates intake, especially the complex carbohydrates found in processed sugary foods, pasta, and bread but not limited to these. This diet is high in fat, protein, and vegetables. Over time, slow carb diet has evolved to diets such as Atkins, Dukan, and others. Their primary usage is weight loss, improving health and diabetes. Many people swear by slow carb diets. Some nutritionists claim its usage for over a century. Many scientific studies consider these as more effective than other diets.

A basic food eat and don’t eat scenario is given below for reference purposes:

Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, high-fat dairy, fats, healthy oils and maybe even some tubers and non-gluten grains.

Don’t Eat: Sugar, HFCS, wheat, seed oils, trans fats, and processed foods.

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Role Of Carbohydrates And Slow Carb Diet

Dietary carbohydrates act as the body’s main source of energy and are also required for the proper functioning of body functions such as muscle contractions, brain activity etc. Carbohydrates are two types: simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates – simple carbohydrates are either one-sugar molecules or two sugar molecules. These are easily digested quickly to release sugar for energy. Their best requirement by the body is before or during physical activity. Eating these in large amounts causes a feeling of being unsatisfied. The common foods are white bread, honey, candies, pastries, and sugary drinks.

Complex carbohydrates – made of many sugars joined together. The more the bonds between these sugars, the tougher it is, by the body to digest. This causes feelings of fatigue or hunger after meals. Common foods are jumbo oats, brown rice, rye, and barley.

Research shows that excessive intake of simple carbohydrates increases blood sugar. Excess of carbohydrates intake is linked to weight gain, insulin resistance, heart diseases and promotes cancer. Fruit and vegetables contain a sugar called fructose. The high fiber causes slower digestion than say a biscuit or a fast food that contains no fiber but has lots of simple sugar. So fruits and vegetables have a less bad effect on blood sugar.

Maximum recommended intake is 260g of carbohydrates a day. Diabetics or slow carb diet eaters should try to have 50g a day depending upon their blood sugar levels. A body process called ketosis happens as a by-product of slow carb diet. Ketones are produced during ketosis, which cause protein and fat to be used as primary source of energy, when carbohydrates storage gets empty. This causes weight loss by the virtue of fat loss. Food eaten is restricted to a diet which is low in calories yet high in protein and fat. The Atkins diet and The Dukan diet are popular forms of slow carb diet.


Safety Of Slow Carb Diet

Slow carb diet, over a long term, can cause health concerns such as digestive issues, constipation, lack of glucose, dizziness, headaches, poor concentration, halitosis, insomnia, and nausea. Increased protein levels put an additional load on the kidneys and lastly, bone health may also suffer. Slow carb diets is not a long term solution to weight loss and doctor advice be followed before embarking on one.

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