In the last few years low carbohydrate diets have become all the rage. The reason for their popularity is that they force your body to burn fat for energy. Unfortunately, there are some negative side effects associated with these low carb diets. In this article I will be discussing three of the negative side effects of carbohydrate deficiency in greater detail.
1) MICRONUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES:- Fruits and vegetables are a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients support almost every function in your body. Some of their main benefits include keeping your nervous system healthy, supporting healthy growth, promoting healthy vision, protecting you from various diseases (including cancer and diabetes), keeping your vital organs healthy, supporting metabolism, strengthening your immune system, promoting mental health and maintaining sexual health.
By eliminating carbohydrates from your diet you are very likely to become deficient in vitamins and minerals meaning that you will miss out on all their benefits. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also be damaging to your health and have a negative effect on your blood, bones, joints, mental health, nerves, skin, teeth, vision and vital organs.
2) CUTTING DIETARY FIBRE OUT OF YOUR DIET:- Fruits, vegetables and certain other carbohydrates are an excellent source of dietary fibre. Dietary fibre is an indigestible type of carbohydrate which has numerous health benefits. It helps keep your blood glucose levels under control, keeps your bowels healthy, helps you absorb vitamins and minerals and reduces your risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
By cutting carbs from your diet you lose out on dietary fibre and the associated health benefits. Consuming low levels of dietary fibre has also been linked with an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity. On top of this not getting enough dietary fibre can lead to constipation, diarrhea and flatulence.
3) TEMPORARY LOSS OF ENERGY- Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source. Completely cutting them from your diet leads to a short term drop in energy levels. Whilst your body does adapt and your energy levels do return to normal after a few days, your concentration levels and your ability to perform physical activities may suffer in the short term.
Low carbohydrate diets can be an effective weight loss tool and help you to eliminate unnatural, processed carbs (such as bread and pasta) from your diet. However, cutting out natural, nutrient rich carbohydrates (such as fruits and vegetables) as well can lead to the carbohydrate deficiency symptoms discussed in this article. Whilst there are no essential carbohydrates and your body can survive without them I think that at least 15% of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables. This will ensure that you avoid carbohydrate deficiency whilst also keeping your carb intake relatively low.
Tom Parker owns Free Fitness Tips – a fantastic source of free, impartial fitness advice. You can learn more about carbohydrate deficiency and the role of carbohydrates in the body by visiting his website.