Low Carbohydrate diet: Do you need it?
You have heard about Low carbohydrate diet and some of its potential benefits, especially if your concern is weight loss. You have tried this diet and it worked well for your weight loss journey. Then you read about ketosis and other possible complications or uncertainties about this diet. Now you are confused as to whether to continue this diet or to change to another diet you have read online.
Here within this article, we will share more about how low carbohydrate diet will and will not work for you.
Carbohydrates: its uses, and types
A quick fact about carbohydrates (CHO), not all of it is bad. In fact, CHOs are the main source of energy your body uses to function. The body uses glucose, the broken down derivative of CHO to supply energy to all cells, most importantly your brain. Consume more than what your body needs, and weight gain would be the end result. Consume too little of it, weight loss will occur. With the correct type of food intervention and combination, you will get the most desirable results ie: weight loss, reduced sugar spikes, improved chronic disease. With unsupervised diet modification or uninformed information, your body may potentially slip into unwanted complications ie: ketosis, bad breath, *heart disease or malnutrition.
At a glance, the types of CHO include:
1. Simple refined
High fructose corn syrup (crackers, flavoured yoghurt, tomato sauce, some low fat food products, cordials etc)
Table sugar (cakes, cookies, some cereals, coffee, tea, food consumed outside etc)
2. Simple natural
Fresh fruits, dairy products (unprocessed fresh milk, fresh made unsweetened yoghurt or natural greek yoghurt)
3. Complex refined
Refined grains like white rice, white flour, white bread
4. Complex natural
Legumes, brown rice, oats, quinoa, sweet potato, whole wheat pasta or bread
The good side of supervised Low CHO diet
Supervised Low CHO diet may show potential benefits for conditions like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. The trick here is consume complex natural CHO instead of simple CHO together with other food groups like lean protein (fish, legumes, poultry) and good fats.
The ugly side of unsupervised low CHO diet
Drastic changes or unsupervised low CHO diets may result in fatigue, bad breath, weakness, muscle cramps, constipation or even nutrient deficiency.
Take home message
To sustain good health, talk to your health care team or contact us to understand more.
Carbohydrates are not all bad; you have to choose the correct ones
Do not embark on a very low CHO diet (less than 20g CHO per day) on your own.
Supervised low CHO diets have potential benefits like weight loss, prevention of chronic diseases and lowered body inflammation.
Yes you may need a low CHO diet if you suffer from some clinical conditions like obesity, diabetes or high cholesterol and our healthcare team will be there to guide you.
How can we help?
We help with:
Weight management for Obesity
Cardiac assessment and optimization
Treatment and management of prediabetes and diabetes
Cholesterol evaluation and management