Carbohydrates, especially excess of carbohydrates in our diet is quite easily turned into fat. Because of this, many misguided or purely profit motivated weight loss ‘specialists’ recommend a low carb diet. However, the real experts will tell you that not only is carbohydrate essential for our body, its lack will lead to severe deficiencies and over time, will have dangerous consequences. This article will cover a few of the deficiencies – just enough to give you a good idea why a low carb diet must be avoided at all costs.
Low Blood Glucose
Carbohydrates in your diet are the principle source of energy to your body. Carbohydrates initially convert into blood glucose which flows throughout our body. When required, this blood glucose is instantly converted into energy. Blood glucose is therefore a necessary part of normal human physiology. Take away the carbohydrates and you will go low on blood glucose. True, your body will also stop accumulating fat but the lack of energy will prevent you from living a healthy life or even being able to conduct your day-to-day activity without feeling faint every now and then. Finally, you will get to a stage when undertaking even the simplest task will seem complicated and impossible to achieve.
Low blood glucose or low sugar as it is commonly known leads to a medical condition called “Hypoglycemia”. You are said to be “hypo” if your blood sugar count drops below 70 mg/dl. Let us inform you just how dangerous this condition is; low blood sugar count means your energy level is too low and this leads to confused thoughts, inability to think straight and therefore leading to weird behavior. Low energy levels result in double vision, blurry vision, heart arrhythmias, nervousness, sweating, hunger and tremors. So ask yourself if any of these deficiencies is really worth a low carb diet.
A week or two after you have started on a low carb diet you could end up with a condition known as “Ketoacidosis”. Ketoacidosis is a condition where body begins to break down accumulated fat and convert it into energy. The proponents of low carb diet will gleefully tell you this is the result they have been waiting for – break down in fat and therefore, weight loss ergo, success!
Under normal circumstances, this would have been great except for one minor detail; to break down fat, the body requires energy – energy which it does not have. Furthermore, not all cells and organs can utilize energy from fat; certain organs, like your brain, need to have glucose. These two situations tell the lie about the so called low carb diets for weight loss.
When the energy levels get really low, our body produces “Ketones” to run vital processes and reserves whatever little blood glucose is left for the brain and other cells that can function only on glucose. Ketones is the energy produced from fat. The process of producing Ketones raises the blood pH levels and makes blood acidic – a condition that is so dangerous, it could result in death.
USDA recommends that adults eat at least 6 cups of carbohydrates each day. The best way to follow a healthy diet is select ‘good’ carbohydrates (e.g. whole-grain carbohydrates) and not eliminate it. Whole-grain carbohydrates contain more fiber and less refined sugar. Other healthy sources of carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables and legumes.