Low-protein diet for weight loss

Want to lose weight naturally? Then, following a low calorie diet is the best option for effective results. However, you should not ignore the importance of proteins in the foods that are included in your diet. Consuming the recommended proteins per day is the key to a successful weight loss. They’re are one of the basic building blocks of the human body, which helps to repair and recover your muscles, hair, skin etc…

Another interesting fact is that the proteins will easily fill you up so that you don’t feel hungry for a long time, which is a gift to your weight loss journey.

Tip: Follow the GM diet plan for a week and then stick to a low carb, high protein meal plan for the rest of the month. This will help in detoxification (throwing out impurities from your body) and also to lose weight naturally (without spoiling your health). Repeat the process every month for best results. Also, drink 3 to 4 liters of water per day and avoid these high calorie Indian foods at any cost.

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?

Irrespective of the gender, an average person needs around 56 grams of protein per day. However, if you wanted to know the exact quantity, then read on..

According to the USDA’s daily recommended values, you should consume 0.8 grams of protein per Kg of your weight per day.

That means, a 80 kg person should consume 64 grams (80 x 0.8) of protein per day. The recommended dose can be increased up to 1.5 grams if you’re doing any strength training routine. So, it becomes 80 x 1.5 = 120 grams of protein per day.

What Happens If I Don’t Eat Enough Protein?

Unfortunately, protein deficiency can cause a lot of health related problems which include – hair loss, dull skin, muscle loss, weight gain etc…

Best Sources of Protein for Vegetarians & Non-Vegetarians

There are several sources of proteins, both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can get proteins from Dal (Lentils), Paneer, Soy bean, Sprouts, Walnuts, Broccoli, Yogurt/Curd, Spinach, Low fat milk, Whey protein shake, Almonds, Kidney beans, Cheese, Tofu, Chickpeas, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Egg Whites (if eggetarian).

If you’re a non-vegetarian lover, then you have ample sources of protein such as Eggs, Salmon, Chicken, Fish, Turkey, Lamb, Beef etc…

High Protein Diet for Weight Loss: Vegetarian Meal Plan

Breakfast (~ 400 calories)

1 glass of whey protein shake along with a bowl of oats properly cooked or 1 glass of whey protein shake + a cup of flakes (all bran wheat) or whole wheat cereal or corn flakes (1 cup)

Morning Snack (~ 200 calories)

A handful of almonds and walnuts (mixed) or a bowl of green mung (boiled)

Lunch (~ 600 calories)

Eat 2 rotis with a bowl of dal, rice and veg sabji or 2 paneer paratha (low fat) with a cup of curd or Dal bati with vegetable curry (mixed)

Evening Snack (~ 200 calories)

A bowl of Sprouts (boiled) or Yogurt with fruits of your choice or a bowl of kidney bean salad or almonds (just 25)

Dinner (~ 400 calories)

A bowl of brown rice with dal or 1 cheese sandwich made with whole wheat bread and vegetables & spinach soup or a single dosa with coconut chutney and sambar or 1 bowl of dal khichidi and spinach soup

Points to be remembered

The above meal plan contains around 1800 calories, which can be increased or decreased according to your weight statistics. Also, do note that you should give a minimum gap of 3 to 4 hours between two meals. If possible, include these cardio workouts for additional weight loss.

High Protein Diet for Weight Loss: Non-Vegetarian Meal Plan

Breakfast (~ 400 calories)

1 glass of whey protein and 3 hard-boiled eggs/omelette (if you prefer)

Morning Snack (~200 calories)

100 gms turkey breast (grilled) or 100 gms grilled chicken (skinless) or 100 gms smoked salmon with spinach

Lunch (~600 calories)

1 chicken roll and veg salad or 100 gms boiled chicken (skinless) and veg sandwich with cheese or 300 gms grilled fish and rice with dal + veg salad or 100 gms boiled chicken with 2 rotis and a cup of rice with dal

Evening Snack (~200 calories)

A bowl of fruit yogurt/curd or a handful of walnuts & almonds (combined) or a glass of whey & banana shake

Dinner (~400 calories)

200 gms grilled fish with brown rice and veg salad or 100 gms grilled lamb with spinach and broccoli or sandwich with brown bread, beef, cheese and vegetables.

Points to be remembered

This is an 1800 calorie, high protein meal plan for non-vegetarians. You can either increase or decrease the calories according to your requirements.

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Low Carb High Protein Diet

Over the years, eating a low carb diet has grown in popularity, but what many of these low carb diets fail to include is how important it is to make sure that you have a high protein food intake.

Lowing your carbs isn’t enough for you to lose weight and keep it off for the long term. That’s because carbs and protein actually work together to achieve weight loss success and one without enough of the other simply doesn’t work.

The Protein-Carb Myth Busted

The focus of some low carb diets has always been to cut out anything that’s above a certain carb level – and that included protein. In fact, some protein foods were put in the “do not eat” category and strategically avoided.

Most people assume that by eating low carb, that they’re getting enough of their daily intake of protein. But many people aren’t – and that lack of protein is thwarting your weight loss efforts.

The reason your efforts have been thwarted is because you might have thought that by eating protein, you were eating high calorie, fattening foods. Most people don’t understand the nature of protein and how the body uses it.

The truth is that protein, while it does contain calories and some fat, isn’t high enough in carbs to blow a low carb diet when you’re counting calories or carbs. There are various types of protein that you can learn about so that you’ll know which ones to choose for the least amount of carbs.

More than half of all people on a low carb diet don’t get the amount of protein that they need. As a result of that, not only is their diet lacking nutritionally, but their health is suffering as well.

Without protein on a low carb diet, you lose energy and you can become sluggish – both physically and mentally. Over half of your calories on a low carb diet should come from protein.

This protein intake should focus on ones that are lean. Instead of getting at least 50-60% of their calorie and carb needs from protein, most people get 15% or less of their carbs and calories from it.

You might think that by eating more of the types of carbs found in meat and increasing your protein level that it will contribute to weight gain, but it’s the opposite.

Protein is a weight loss tool. Studies have shown that people whose low carb diets have a strong focus on protein lose weight faster, can prevent or reverse obesity, and also keep other health conditions at bay.

You have to understand what a carb is and how it can contribute to weight gain if you don’t make sure that you pair it with protein in your eating plan. But first, you need to take a look at how protein works to get you that lean body you’re aiming to have.

How Protein Works

Protein is a weight loss tool unlike any other food. When you focus your meals and snacks on high protein, the protein immediately gets to work in your body to contribute to muscle repair and weight loss.

Protein isn’t a food that digests fast. This is one of the reasons that you don’t feel as hungry as quickly after having protein. Your body has to make more of an effort to digest protein foods to put them to work for your body.

What that means for you (besides feeling fuller) is that your body is using calories during the digesting process. It’s using more effort to digest proteins than any low carb foods or diet foods.

If you need to know how that breaks down into a benefit for you, just take a look at the numbers. Research has shown that people on a low carb diet who add more protein take in about 500 less calories than those who don’t up their protein intake.

That equals about 12 pounds of additional weight loss over the course of three months – with you not doing anything except adding food. Most people on a low carb diet also add some form of exercise.

They believe it will speed up the weight loss effort. And they’re right. But if you’re not getting enough protein, you’re not losing fat. Instead, what you’re losing is muscle mass.

This is why you may have struggled on a low carb diet and been frustrated that you weren’t losing enough or gaining lean muscle like you wanted to. Without the amino acids in protein, you won’t be building lean muscles.

Low carb foods just don’t contain what your body needs. Not only that, but your metabolism will slow down when you don’t give your body the right amount of protein.

So if you’ve been on a low carb diet that’s also been pretty low in protein, it’s time to make some changes to how you’re eating so that you’ll see your weight loss kick into higher gear.

It’s important that you don’t protein load. That means trying to cram all of your protein into one meal. Not only is that not good for you, but you’ll be wasting the protein because your body can’t use it all at once and protein doesn’t store.

Divide the grams of protein you’re going to be adding to your eating plan by each meal as well as each snack. This keeps you in protein intake mode throughout the day.

It also helps you keep the munchies at bay this way. You have to have protein on a low carb diet from the time you get up to the time you go to bed – and especially after working out.

Study your proteins and make sure that they’re packed with all of the amino acids. The best way to make sure of that is by getting your protein from meat. Other proteins don’t contain all of the essential amino acids.

If you think that upping your protein intake means you’ll constantly be eating chicken or steak and you’re thinking you don’t have the time or energy to do that, there’s an easy way to get the amount of protein that works for you.

You can eat jerky, carry soy nuts or have an energy bar. You can also make a batch of boiled eggs that you can use to take with you when you leave the house to run errands or head to the office.

What a Carb Really Is

Carbs are made of fiber, sugar and starch and they’re in the foods that you eat. These macronutrients play an important role in how your body gets the energy that it needs.

Your body has to have carbs at a certain level or it can’t function. This is why people who cut their carbs too low experience things like dizziness or mental fog. The amount of carbohydrates that you have to have isn’t a magic number – nor is it a one size fits all number.

The level of carbs that you need to have on a low carb diet should be based on how much protein you’re also getting. This is because while protein should be a minimum 50% of your caloric food intake, carbs – including those in fruits and vegetables – should make up the remainder.

Both carbs and proteins keep your body running. They both help the body burn fat. When one is out of balance, you’re not going to get the same level of fat burning that you would if it was in balance.

Most people want to know if they should have simple or complex carbohydrates when they pair them with protein. What you should know is that carbs aren’t good or bad.

There are only two types of carbs: either simple or complex. Each type affects your body differently. When you eat a simple carb, your body gets the glucose from that carb faster while a complex carb doesn’t get absorbed as quickly.

The mistake that most people make is thinking that simple carbs are bad ones and complex carbs are good ones. But fruit is a simple carb. That’s because your body can quickly absorb the fructose form fruit just like it can in something like candy.

The main difference is that carbs that are simple ones that are processed are often void of any vitamins. They don’t offer anything nutritional for your body. When you’re deciding to eat a carb, you need to look at a few things to see if it fits on your low carb, high protein diet.

Look to see the calorie content. Now remember that some proteins have a higher calorie content than something like a piece of fruit. That doesn’t make the protein bad or on the do not eat list.

What it means is that you should look at all of the other qualifications first to decide if you want that carb or not. Besides the calorie content, look at the nutritional value.

Find out how many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it has for your body. Make sure that the carb isn’t processed or refined. Look at the fiber content. Check out what the label says about the sodium amount.

You also want to look at the type of fat and the amount of fat. That’s one reason people avoid eating high protein, but most meats are high in the type of fat that’s good for you and good for your heart.

What you want to avoid on a low carb, high protein diet are foods that are high in calories but give you nothing in return. They don’t offer you much in terms of protein, fiber or nutrients.

They’re packed with sodium and saturated fat. The key to eating low carb, high protein is the fiber in the carbohydrate. The more fiber the food item has, the better it is for your body and the more it will be able to help you lose the weight you want to shed.

You can put together a low carb, high protein diet on your own or you can follow one of the more popular ones that has a focus on protein You can also adjust any popular diet to better suit your lifestyle and weight loss needs if you have to.

The Atkins Diet is one of the top diets you can follow when you want a diet that’s higher in protein. Another one is the South Beach Diet. There’s also the Abs Diet and some people prefer to follow Weight Watchers for a low carb, high protein diet.

But if you’re looking for a low carb diet that instructs users to have the most protein, then that one would be the Zone Diet. Keep in mind that a diet plan often has to be tweaked to suit the individual.

Reasons Why Your Diet Didn’t Work Before Now

You were so focused on watching the scale that you didn’t realize you were losing fat and building muscle. Because muscle weighs more, some people get upset when they step on the scale and see a weight gain rather than a loss.

Forget constant watching the scale and base how well your low carb, high protein diet is working on how you feel and how your clothes are fitting. You can often see that your clothes fit looser – even when the scale says that you’re gaining. It’s better to use a tape measure if you want to keep track, rather than a scale.

Another reason your diet didn’t work was because you didn’t manage your stress. When you’re stressed, your body kicks up the stress hormones. When that happens, it affects your appetite.

You become hungrier and you’re more likely to eat junk food when you’re stressed. Losing weight is actually a total mind-body process, not just a physical journey.

Maybe your diet didn’t work because the foods that you were eating on your diet were supposed to be low carb and good for you – but they were processed. They didn’t have the nutrients that your body needed and you ended up hungry all of the time, irritable and lacking energy.

You have to have real food on any diet. Even on a low carb diet, those carbs need to be real food and not processed ones. You’ll feel more satisfied this way and stick to your diet longer.

Perhaps you ate foods that were good for you, but had a high fat content. Fat content should be looked at. If a food has more than half the caloric intake in fat, then you can bet that’s a food you need to reconsider.

Is it possible that snacks derailed your diet? Even eating healthy foods on a diet can sabotage you if you eat too much of them. Some people on a diet switched from eating chips to nuts. While nuts are a much better choice, they’re not calorie or fat free.

Maybe you switched from real sugar to sweeteners. While eliminating sugar might seem like a no-brainer, eating fake sweeteners can actually be just as bad for you.

The reason is that even calorie free foods can increase your appetite. Some sweeteners make people feel hungrier, not less – and this leads to overeating. So watch how much artificial sweetener you use, if any. If you were eating low carb in the past but still struggling to lose weight, the sweeteners could be the reason why.

If you didn’t reach your weight loss goals in the past, it could be that you were focused on a low carb diet without the proper amount of protein. The two work hand in hand.

When you have enough protein in your system and your body feels fuller, you’re not going to crave as much food – which in turn means fewer carbs, and less desire to snack.

There’s a formula for figuring out how to balance the amount of carbs plus protein you need in order to lose weight and keep it off. Decide whether or not the low carb amount is making you lose weight – because some people need more or fewer carbs than others.

Make sure your protein intake is at least 50% of your calories and take into consideration any health conditions you might have because some health conditions, such as diabetes, can make eating even a small amount of carbs more difficult to lose weight.

Conclusion

There are many options on the market to help you shed pounds and build lean muscle mass. Low carb with high protein is just one option. You may even find that you want to switch things up from time to time to prevent boredom and give your body a shock so that it can’t become complacent with its weight loss.

As for the low carb, high protein selections, you’ll find everything from “under 100 carbs” per day to under 20 carbs – to zero carbs. You’ll have to decide which works best for you, and which one you feel comfortable adhering to.

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A low-protein diet is a diet in which people reduce their intake of protein. A low-protein diet is prescribed for those with inherited metabolic disorders, such as Phenylketonuria and Homocystinuria and reduced protein levels have been used by people with kidney or liver disease. Low protein consumption appears to alter the risk of bone breakage, presumably through changes in calcium homeostasis. Consequently, there is no uniform definition of what constitutes low-protein, because the amount and composition of protein for an individual suffering from phenylketonuria would differ substantially from one suffering homocystinuria. The amount used by those with liver disease would still result in individuals being in nitrogen balance.

Amino acids that are excess to requirement cannot be stored, but must be modified by deamination (removal of the amine group). As this occurs in the liver and kidneys, some individuals with damaged livers or kidneys may be advised to eat less protein. Due to the sulphur content of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, excess of these amino acids leads to the production of acid through sulphate ions. These sulphate ions may be neutralized by calcium ions from bone, which may lead to net urinary loss of calcium. This might lead to reduction in bone mineral density over time. Individuals suffering from phenylketonuria lack the enzyme to convert phenylalanine to tyrosine so low levels of this amino acid need to be provided in the diet. Homocystinuria is an inherited disorder involving the metabolism of the amino acid methionine leading to the accumulation of homocysteine. Treatment includes providing low levels of methionine and high levels of vitamin B6 in the diet.

Low-protein diets are in vogue among some members of the general public because of the impact of protein intake on Insulin/Insulin-like growth factor 1 Signalling (IIS) and the direct sensing of amino acid availability by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), two systems that are implicated in longevity and cancer proliferation. Apart from low protein intake, such as in the 80:10:10 diet, other attempts to modulate IIS are through intermittent fasting and the 5:2 diet.

History

By studying the composition of food in the local population in Germany, Carl von Voit established a standard of 118 grams of protein per day. Russell Henry Chittenden showed that less than half that amount was needed to maintain good health.Horace Fletcher was an early populariser of low-protein diets, which he advocated along with chewing.

Protein requirement

The daily requirement for humans to remain in nitrogen balance is relatively small. The median human adult requirement for good quality protein is approximately 0.65 gram per kilogram body weight per day and the 97.5 percentile is 0.83 grams per kilogram body weight per day. Children require more protein, depending on the growth phase. A 70 kg adult human who was in the middle of the range would require approximately 45 grams of protein per day to be in nitrogen balance. This would represent less than 10% of kilocalories in a notional 2,200 kilocalorie ration. William Cumming Rose and his team studied the essential amino acids, helping to define minimum amounts needed for normal health. For adults, the recommended minimum amounts of each essential amino acid varies from 4 to 39 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. To be of good quality, protein only needs to come from a wide variety of foods; there is neither a need to mix animal and plant food together nor a need to complement specific plant foods, such as rice and beans. The notion that such specific combinations of plant protein need to be made to give good quality protein stems from the book Diet for a Small Planet. Plant protein is often described as incomplete, suggesting that they lack one or more of the essential amino acids. Apart from rare examples, such as Taro, each plant provides an amount of all the essential amino acids. However, the relative abundance of the essential amino acids is more variable in plants than that found in animals, which tend to be very similar in essential amino acid abundance, and this has led to the misconception that plant proteins are deficient in some way.

Low-protein vs calorie restriction

Calorie restriction has been demonstrated to increase the life span and decrease the age-associated morbidity of many experimental animals. Increases in longevity or reductions in age-associated morbidity have also been shown for model systems where protein or specific amino acids have been reduced. In particular, experiments in model systems in rats, mice, and Drosophila fruit flies have shown increases in life-span with reduced protein intake comparable to that for calorie restriction. Restriction of the amino acid methionine, which is required to initiate protein synthesis, is sufficient to extend lifespan.

Some of the most dramatic effects of Calorie restriction are on metabolic health, promoting leanness, decreasing blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity. Low-protein diets mimic many of the effects of Calorie restriction but may engage different metabolic mechanisms. Low protein diets rapidly reduce fat and restores normal insulin sensitivity to diet-induced obese mice. Specifically restricting consumption of the three branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine is sufficient to promote leanness and improve regulation of blood glucose.

The diets of humans living in some of the Blue Zones, regions of enhanced numbers of centenarians and reduced age-associated morbidity, contain less than 10% of energy from protein, although reports on all the Blue Zones are not available. None of the diets in these regions is completely based on plants, but plants form the bulk of the food eaten. Although it has been speculated that some of these populations are under calorie restriction, this is contentious as their smaller size is consistent with the lower food consumption.

Low-protein and liver disease

In the past a standard dietary treatment for those suffering from liver disease or damage was a low protein, high carbohydrate, moderate fat and low salt diet. However, more recent research suggests that a high protein diet is required of 1.2–2 g of protein per kg. Levels of up to 2 g/kg body weight/day have been demonstrated to not worsen encephalopathy. In addition, vitamin supplements especially vitamin B group should be taken. Sodium might have to be restricted to 500-1500mg per day.

Low-protein and kidney disease

Low-protein diets to treat kidney disease include the Rice diet, which was started by Walter Kempner at Duke University in 1939. This diet was a daily ration of 2,000 Calories consisting of moderate amounts of boiled rice, sucrose and dextrose, and a restricted range of fruit, supplemented with vitamins. Sodium and chloride where restricted to 150 mg and 200 mg respectively. It showed remarkable effects on control of edema and hypertension. Although the Rice diet was designed to treat kidney and vascular disease, the large weight loss associated with the diet led to a vogue in its use for weight loss which lasted for more than 70 years. The Rice Diet program closed in 2013. Other low-protein starch-based diets like John A. McDougall’s program continue to be offered for kidney disease and hypertension.

Low-protein and osteoporosis

The effect of protein on osteoporosis and risk of bone fracture is complex. Calcium loss from bone occurs at protein intake below requirement when individuals are in negative protein balance, suggesting that too little protein is dangerous for bone health. IGF-1, which contributes to muscle growth, also contributes to bone growth, and IGF-1 is modulated by protein intake. However, at high protein levels, a net loss of calcium may occur through the urine in neutralizing the acid formed from the deamination and subsequent metabolism of methionine and cysteine. Large prospective cohort studies have shown a slight increase in risk of bone fracture when the quintile of highest protein consumption is compared to the quintile of lowest protein consumption. In these studies, the trend is also seen for animal protein but not plant protein, but the individuals differ substantially in animal protein intake and very little in plant protein intake. As protein consumption increases, calcium uptake from the gut is enhanced. Normal increases in calcium uptake occur with increased protein in the range 0.8 grams to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram body weight per day. However, calcium uptake from the gut does not compensate for calcium loss in the urine at protein consumption of 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Calcium is not the only ion that neutralizes the sulphate from protein metabolism, and overall buffering and renal acid load also includes anions such as bicarbonate, organic ions, phosphorus and chloride as well as cations such as ammonium, titrateable acid, magnesium, potassium and sodium. The study of Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) suggests that increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and cooked legumes increases the ability of the body to buffer acid from protein metabolism, because they contribute to a base forming potential in the body due to their relative concentrations of proteins and ions. However, not all plant material is base forming, for example, nuts, grains and grain products add to the acid load.

Countries

In the United Kingdom, low-protein products and substitutes are prescribed through the health service.

Claims

Low protein, vegetarian diets have been hypothesized to be linked to longer life.

See also

  • Essential amino acid
  • High protein diet

References

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High-Protein Low-Carb Diet for Weight Loss

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You may wish to restrict your carbohydrate consumption for weight loss. Here’s what you must learn about the high-protein low-carb diet.

A low-carb diet restricts consumption of foods that are rich in digestible carbohydrates. These foods are replaced with foods high in protein and sometimes also fat. Low carb diet is synonymous with high protein diet and is often called low-carbohydrate high-protein diet. Low-carb diets can also be called non-energy restricted diets as they do not restrict the calorie intake of the individual.

Refined carbohydrates and sugar are often held responsible for the rise of many diseases including obesity so carb-restricted diet is considered to be the solution.

There are different versions of the low-carb diet: the Atkins Diet, the Zone Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Paleolithic Diet and the Protein Power Diet.

The specific amount of carbohydrates allowed differs from diet to diet. In general, the low-carb diets are defined as diets limiting the carbohydrate intake to 20-60 g per day. By contrast, the usual recommendation for carbohydrates is not less than 130 g per day.

Carbohydrate-restrictive diets can be divided into three groups according to the percentage of calories from carbohydrates:

  • Moderate Carb 40-50%
  • Low Carb 25-39%
  • No Carb to Very Low Carb 0-25%

What Is More Effective for Weight Loss: Low-Carb Diet, Low-Fat Diet or Low-Calorie Diet?

The low-carb diet, low-fat diet and calorie-restrictive diet are found to be an equally effective treatment for weight loss. You should choose the diet you can stick with. “Because of our diverse health requirements and inherent biochemical individuality,” says Rebecca Kirby, Physician and Senior Research Scientist for Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning, “some people will do better on low-fat diets and some people will do better on low-carb diets.” The general rule is that the carbohydrate level should be adjusted to the individual.

How Safe Is Low-Carb Diet for Long-Term Weight Loss?

Low-carb diets are often criticized as being high in fat, which is wildly regarded as harmful and causing heart disease and other health problems. However, low-carb diets can also be low in fat. It is important to distinguish between saturated fats (found in meat, poultry and dairy products) and unsaturated fats (found in vegetable oils, nuts and avocado). The later fats do not increase your cholesterol lever but help lower it. While saturated fats should be restricted, unsaturated fats must be added to the diet.

Restricted nutrient composition also raises great concerns about the safety of the low-carb diet. However, it is a general misconception that the low-carb diet eliminates all vegetables, fruits and berries. Only high-carbohydrate vegetables such as potatoes and corn are restricted. An optimal low-carbohydrate menu must include a variety of non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, carrot and spinach. Most fruits and berries are largely water. Though they contain sugar, they still cannot be considered a significant source of carbohydrates. You can add them to you diet even when following the low-carb style of eating.  If the amount of minerals and vitamins in the diet falls below 100% of Daily Value, the nutrient deficiencies can be remedied by multi-vitamin and mineral supplements.

Low-carb diet is nowadays recognized as a legitimate approach for short-term weight loss (up to one year). However, there is a lack of evidence supporting the safety of the low-carb diets over the long term.

What Are Side Effects of Low Carb Diet?

Some low-carb diets restrict carbohydrate intake sufficiently and cause ketosis, a metabolic state in which the organism breaks down body fat for energy and produces ketones due to the shortage of insulin in the blood. Low-carb diet advocates argue that the human body is designed to function in ketosis. However, ketosis can be considered harmful as it stresses the liver. Ketosis can cause fatigue, bad breath and nausea. High levels of ketones can lead to ketoacidosis, which is a very dangerous condition, especially in people with metabolic disorders. You should not restrict carbohydrates too much over the long term. Remember that low-carb diet does not mean no carbs at all.

Another common side effect of a very-low-carbohydrate diet is constipation due to the lack of dietary fiber.  Remember that there are a number of foods that are high in fiber and low in carbs: collard greens, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and blackberries, to name a few.

The low carb diet can increased the risk of osteoporosis. For digestion of high-protein foods, calcium is required.  Your diet must include hard cheese such as Swiss and cheddar cheese, dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and other foods that are high in calcium; otherwise your bones may begin losing calcium.

If your low-carb diet is high is saturated fats, it may increase the risk of heart disease and colon cancer. You should reduce the intake of saturated fats even when following the low-carb style of eating.

The low-carb diet can cause a stress to kidneys. If you have kidney or liver disease, you should never try the low-carb diet without medical supervision as the low-carb diet can speed the progression of kidney and liver disease.

Whether or not you decide to adhere to the low-carb style of eating, it is still a good idea to reduce unhealthy carbs in your diet. You should avoid white flour, refined sugar and white rice. These foods are considered “bad carbs” as they are over-processed and stripped off important nutrients such as fiber and vitamins.

More Low-Carb Diet Tips

  • Low-Carb Food List

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