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6 Low-Carb Diet Myths Debunked

Low-carb diets are incredibly popular. But along with popularity comes a lot of misinformation and misconceptions.

Low-carb advocates claim these diets may help in reducing the risk of various illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and promote a rapid weight loss. Others consider low-carb diets can have harmful effects on one’s health and aggravate certain health conditions.

We’re here to shed some light on some of the most common myths that abound about the low-carb diets and clarify certain aspects surrounding them.

We’re also here to tell you that the best way for you to be healthy, is not necessarily to adopt a certain diet, but a healthy lifestyle that relies on eating whole foods and working out as much as you can, regardless of your age.

1.      Low-carb diets are good for everyone

Low-carb diets are described as low in starchy and sugary foods. Most people follow them when trying to lose weight and focus on avoiding bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and even certain fruits and dairy.

While low-carb diets have been evidenced to have results, the eating patterns they involve are not necessarily good for everyone. Some people may not feel well with eliminating certain foods from their diet or reducing the carb intake. Athletes, for example, need many more carbs, therefore, a low-carb diet is not the best choice for their bodies.

2.      Carbs inherently make you fat

High amounts of sugar and carbs can be detrimental to one’s health and can cause weight gain. But this is true only if the carbs are refined and included in heavily processed foods which are made tastier and easier to overeat.

Let’s take the badly reputed potatoes as an example. The way you consume them can make or break your weight loss plan. If baked, they are high in fiber and help you feel satiated. Fried in corn oil and covered in salt, you get the addictive potato chips and the extra pounds that go with that.

Bottom line: any nutrient-rich in calories can cause weight gain but carbs alone don’t make you fat if you stick to a healthy, whole foods-based diet.

3.      Calories are not important

A calorie is a unit of energy but most of us associate calories with food and count them when trying to lose weight.  However, more and more low-carb supporters promote the idea that calorie intake is not important.

The rationale behind this is that low-carb diets rely on making you consume more energy and subsequently burn more fat for that energy. In addition, you no longer have the same appetite and consequently, consume fewer calories. This means you no longer have to stress about portion control and rigorous calorie counting. 

4.      You eat fewer plant foods during low-carb diets

A low-carb diet doesn’t exclude carbs completely. Whoever says that reducing carbs equals eating fewer plant foods is in the wrong.

As a matter of fact, you can knock yourself out and eat all sorts of vegetables, nuts, and seeds, as long as you stay within the 50 grams of carbs per day limit. You can make it to 100-150 carbs a day and still be in the clear in terms of the carb intake.

You can enjoy several fruits a day or healthy starches such as potatoes and still be able to sustain a low-carb diet. Due to the wide variety of healthy and low carb plant foods, it’s even possible for vegetarians and vegans to do it!

5.      Low-carb diets are bad for your heart

People against low-carb diets claim they are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, thus increasing risks of cholesterol and heart disease.

But emerging studies show that cholesterol and saturated fat don’t really have that big of an impact on heart disease risks. More than that, they have been shown to help in reducing blood triglycerides, increase HDL levels and lower blood pressure.

Something to consider is that these studies refer to average individuals. As we discussed earlier, not all people are the same, so some of them may need to adjust their low-carb diet to avoid an increase in the LDL (bad) cholesterol.

6.      Ketosis is dangerous

If you want to follow a low-carb diet, such as the Keto diet, the first thing you need to do is find out what ketosis is all about.

In short, when you consume a reduced number of carbs, the insulin level goes down and fat gets released from your fat cells. When the fatty acids reach your liver, it transforms them into ketones. These tiny molecules provide energy to your brain when haven’t had anything to eat or haven’t consumed any carbs.

This is the metabolic state of ketosis. Unfortunately, many people mistake it for ketoacidosis, a serious condition that turns your blood acidic and occurs in untreated type 1 diabetes. 

Low-carb diets and more specifically ketogenic diets have always been a hot topic. If you want to find out everything there is to know about low-carb and ketosis, here’s your chance to read this ultimate guide on Keto diet!