In recent years, all we’ve been hearing about is low-carb and keto and ketosis and all these other words that seemed to have appeared out of thin air. Odds are if you know someone that has drastically changed their diet by eliminating a ton of carbohydrates, you’ve probably noticed they’ve dropped some lbs, and you may be considering this lifestyle change yourself, but is the low-carb life the life for you? Today we’re looking at some of the pros and cons, and a few tips when it comes to low-carbing. (And of course, we ALWAYS recommend checking with your doctor before changing up your diet!)
(image via: istock)
The Pros and Cons
- The number one pro of a low-carb life is weight loss. There is no doubt that significantly reducing the number of carbs you’re intaking will cause you to lose weight.
- Low-carb diets focus on eliminating starchier options such as white bread, pasta, cakes, sugary drinks, etc, which are all things that contained added sugar, so in theory, eliminating or restricting these kinds of carbs isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
- Following a meal plan that replaces added sugar carbs with complex carbs can help and even decrease spikes in blood sugar, which in turn lowers your blood pressure and promotes a healthy heart.
- If you are living with diabetes, cutting back on added sugars is the name of the game, so this could be a good option for you.
- During the first few weeks, you may notice feeling tired, perhaps a few more headaches than normal, maybe even bad breath; these are all normal side effects and they should go away after the first few weeks, but if they linger, it could be a sign that your blood sugar is getting (and staying) too low.
- You may also experience persistent heartburn and/or hair loss.
- Low-carb diets are also often high-protein diets; if you are middle-aged, excessive protein can increase your risk of a number of health issues including cancer and diabetes.
- A major risk is the lack of fruit involved in most low-carb diets. Fruits are beneficial to our overall health and shouldn’t be ruled out of a person’s diet completely, which is what happens with most low-carb lifestyles.
(image via: istock)
Know and understand what is and isn’t considered low-carb, and be aware of the number of carbs in certain foods. They can surprise you sometimes!
Make a meal plan. Low-carb can be tricky at times, but meal planning helps.
Keep low-carb snacks on hand.
Keep your eyes peeled for alternatives at restaurants such as lettuce wraps or “un-wiches”.
Listen to your body. If the low-carb life just isn’t sitting well with you, then find a different lifestyle change. We promise there is one out there for you, and it’s okay if it’s not low-carb.