A low carbohydrate diet is a weight loss diet plan which restricts the carbohydrate intake (grains, starchy vegetables and fruit) and emphasizes on consuming high amounts of protein and fat foods.
Our diet is made up of three primary macro nutrients-
A diet that restricts the carbohydrate intake to less than 20% of total caloric intake is a ‘low carbohydrate diet’. However, the amount and type of carbohydrate allowed varies with different low carbohydrate diets. It is common to find that any diet with carbohydrate intake less than 50-60% is called a low carb diet
. A daily limit of 50-150 grams of carbohydrates is typical with a low carbohydrate diet.
Weight loss is achieved with a low carb diet.
Low carbohydrate levels lead to a reduction in the body's insulin production, resulting in fat and protein (muscle) stores being used as the main energy source of the body.
However, carbohydrate is a major nutrient that the body needs. From the health perspective this diet is not healthy. Essential vitamins and nutrients come from a balanced diet and low carbohydrate diets are certainly not balanced. Many essential nutrients are from fruit, vegetables and grains; and low carb diets allow very small amounts of fruit and vegetables, definitely not enough to provide recommended daily allowance. These diets lack in nutrients essential for good health and the high level of protein puts a huge strain on the kidneys. Eating large amounts of fat and protein from animal sources increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.