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Pros and Cons of Low-Carb Diets

The Atkins diet books have sold more than 45 million copies over 40 years, which makes it one of the most popular diets in history. Reasons for the interest in the low-carb diet fad include a plethora of best selling books, over-sensationalism in the media, and support from fitness and health clubs. Although low-carbohydrate diets were popular in the 1970s, they have surfaced again without scientific facts about how these diets work and the potential for serious long-term health risks in adopting this dieting practice. Research conducted at universities in Australia and Denmark have shown that low-carbohydrate diets present no significant advantage over more
traditional energy-restricted, nutritionally balanced diets both in terms of weight loss and weight maintenance.  Studies examining the efficacy of using low-carbohydrate diets for long-term weight loss are few in number, however few positive benefits exist to promote the adoption of carbohydrate restriction as a realistic and safe means of dieting.  While short-term carbohydrate restriction over a period of a week can result in a significant loss of weight (albeit mostly from water and glycogen stores), the serious concern is following of this type of eating plan for longer periods of months to years. Complications such as heart arrhythmias, cardiac contractile function impairment, sudden death, osteoporosis, kidney damage, increased cancer risk, impairment of physical activity can all be linked to long-term restriction of carbohydrates in the diet. Before you decide to cut the carbs, do some research yourself about the pros and cons of this dieting approach because there may be long term side effects that outweigh the short term gains.

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