We all know that a healthy and balanced diet is extremely essential to stay healthy, maintaining the proper functioning of the entire physiological system of the human body, and even staying away from the risk of occurrences of several types of diseases by building up a strong immune response system inside the body. Sometimes, people tend to follow a diet that is either rich in high amounts of carbohydrates or consists of an extremely low quantity of carbohydrate content. These are usually referred to as high-carb and low-carb diets, respectively. Though it has often been suggested by health care experts and medical professionals that following a high or low-carb diet can be beneficial for your overall health and for maintaining good health and proper functioning of the body, there are certain instances when it has also been found that following a high or a low carb diet can also have several types of side effects on the overall health of a person. In fact, many physicians and dieticians often advise thinking twice before going for a high or low-carb diet, because if continued for a longer period and if any of these diets do not suit you, then these diet schedules have a greater negative impact on your overall health, and you might start having several types of health-related disorders.
Therefore, it is, for this reason, you must know what high and low-carb diets are, what they exactly consist of, and most importantly, what the possible side effects related to the consumption of carbohydrates in high or low amounts and following high and low-carb diets. This article will help you to get a detailed idea about what high and low-carb diets are all about and the reasons why you should not have these diets without taking proper advice from your concerned healthcare experts.
What do You Need To Know About Low Carb Diet?
To know the details about high and low carbs, it is important to know what carbohydrates are. Carbohydrates are a type of macro-nutrients that are larger in size (‘macro’ means ‘large’). Carbohydrates can be consumed through food components that are rich in sugars, glucose, fiber, and so on. This nutrient is particularly essential for good health because the body derives a major amount of energy from foods that are rich in carbohydrates. As the name suggests, this type of diet consists of extremely low quantities of carbohydrates or similar substances such as glucose or related organic substances in the foods that were consumed in the diet. Low-carb diets are mostly consumed by many people as they wish to reduce excessive intake of high calories through the food components that they are having in the diet. Low-carb diets are also consumed by people to get rid of excess body weight which might lead to the occurrence of several types of health-related disorders such as obesity and other health complications such as cardiac damage and so on. A low-carb diet mostly consists of even less than 26% of the total daily calories that are derived from carbohydrates. In fact, there are different types of low-carb diets that avoid several types of food components that are rich in sugar or calories such as rice, starch-containing foods, foods with added white sugar or artificial sweeteners, and so on.
There can be different types of low-carb diets. Some of the most common forms of low-carb diets can be listed here as follows:
- Ketogenic or keto diet: This type of low-carb diet is filled with food substances that can measure up to 20–50 g of carbohydrates. A keto diet not only decreases your calorie intake, but also allows you to add healthy fats to your diet that includes foods such as avocados, full-fat dairy products, olive oil, coconut oil, and so on.
- Atkins diet: This is the second form of a low-carb diet that is quite high in protein content. As often said by dieticians, there are certain discrete phases of the Atkins diet, for instance, in the very first stage of the Atkins diet, the food substances that are consumed, are mostly limited to around 20 to 40 grams each day, which eventually increases in the later phases to around 100 grams per day.
- South Beach diet: In this type of low-carb diet, the food components are mostly composed of lean meats and healthy fats that are most beneficial for the better functioning of the heart and the overall circulatory system of the body. This type of keto diet has phases too. During the initial phase, food substances such as grains and fruits are also off-limits. But from the second and third phases, you can easily add on these foods.
Risks Of Having Low Carb Diet
In most cases, having a low-carb diet is healthy because such a type of diet does not allow you to gain calories or suffer from obesity. But, in some cases, low-carb diets can have harmful impacts on your health as well. Some such risks can be listed as follows:
- High risks of developing cardiac damage and chances of heart attacks and strokes, along with several types of cardiovascular diseases.
- Risks of developing different types of cancer or cases of malignancy
- Lack of proper energy in the body, as the correct amount of carbs in the body, ensures enough energy in the body
- Risks of premature death from coronary diseases or cerebrovascular disorders
What Is High Carb Diet?
High carb diet is just the opposite case. This type of diet consists of food components that are rich in the number of carbohydrates. Such components include foods that are rich in added sugar, white sugar, or artificial sweeteners, along with fibers. Though high-carb diets are preferred by many to gain a lot of energy, these types of diets can have several types of negative impacts on your health as well. Some such health negative impacts of high carb diet can be listed here as follows:
- Obesity: high carb diets increase the consumption of calories in your diet which leads to the addition of calories. An increase in the number of calories can lead to increasing your body weight, so the person is more likely to suffer from conditions like obesity or an unnecessary increase in their body weight. Obesity can be quite harmful to your body because it can lead to several types of disorders, mostly cardiac damage.
- Cholesterol problems: excessive consumption of calories in your daily diet can lead to obesity, which can significantly hamper the circulatory system of the body. This can make you to develop several types of diseases such as cholesterol and other heart-related ailments. One significant problem resulting from a high-carb diet is cholesterol, where the body has an increased level of LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol and the good or HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol also does not remain at its optimum level.
- Diabetes: Increased consumption of carbs in shoots up the glucose levels in your blood, so the person has a greater risk to develop diseases like type 2 diabetes or diabetes mellitus.
- Cardio: vascular diseases: Obesity and an increase in a person’s body weight because of having carb-rich foods in your diet can increase the risk of heart damage, leading to heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke, heart failure, and risk of several other cardiovascular diseases.
Some Smart Choices Of Carbohydrates For You:
You might be quite confused while choosing the most appropriate forms of carbs to include in your diet that will not only be healthy and beneficial to your overall health and body functioning but also, they will not lead to any type of harmful side effects on your health.
Some such smart choices of carbs can be listed here as follows:
- Healthy animal proteins such as eggs, meat such as chicken, turkey, and lean meat along with seafood such as tuna, salmon, and so on
- Healthy fats such as avocados
- Fresh fruits such as grapes, strawberries, olives, apricots, and so on
- Healthy and fat-free milk and dairy products such as butter, ghee or clarified butter, cheese, yogurt, etc
- Drinks and beverages like tea, water, and coffee
- Nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and so on
- Healthy oils such as olive, avocado, or coconut oil
- Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and other vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, and so on
- Dark chocolate (avoid the ones that consist of added sugars)
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