Have you heard of the Ketogenic diet? How about the Paleo diet? Adkins? South Beach? These are all popular fad diets, that people have used to drop some pounds, and drop them fast. Essentially, the basis behind all of them is to lower — or completely cut out carbohydrates out of your diet. The basis behind these diets, is to force your body to start burning fat as fuel instead of it’s natural fuel source, carbohydrates. These diets have resulted in some quick weight loss, and have exploded in popularity because of it. We don’t believe in crash diets at Next Generation Training Center, however, we also believe that everyone is different. Everyone’s body type is different. Everyone’s lifestyle is different. So, if you are currently doing one of these diets and are happy with it, we are not here to tell you to stop. The MOST important part about health, fitness and nutrition is that you are happy with what you are doing, and that it is making you a better person.
With that being said, there have been some interesting studies that have come out about these “low carb” diets. We are just here to present some facts for you, and allow you to make the decisions for yourself. Just last year, a 2018 study had found that cutting carbs had equated to a 13 pound weight lose in overweight dieters. That is significant results, unfortunately other studies have come out to discuss how cutting carbs may also cut years from ones life.
In a study published in The Lancet in September of 2018 – researchers followed 15,428 adults and found a connection between carbohydrate consumption, and the risk of dying during the 25-year study period. Another study, which was presented at the 2018 European Society of Cardiology, reviewed the results of seven different studies. In those seven studies, 447,506 participants, over 15 years, were shown to find a correlation between low carb diets, and premature death. The types of death that were associated with low carb diets included cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
“The reduced intake of fiber and fruits and increased intake of animal protein, cholesterol and saturated fat with these diets may play a role ,” explained by Dr. Maciej Banach, professor at the Medical University in Poland. The participants in the studies who replaced their carbs with animal proteins and fats were at the highest risk. The problem with this, is that although it may lead to faster weight loss, these dieters are cutting out essential nutrients that come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and dairy products. All of these play an important role in balanced nutrition. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines you should be getting between 45% — 65% of your calories from carbohydrates.
In the Lancet study, researches found that the participants who were consuming complex carbs such as fruits, vegetables and whole-grains were at a lower risk of premature death. “Fad diets often lead people to fear carbohydrates. But the research continues to show healthy carbohydrates are the healthiest fuel for our bodies,” Dr. Hana Kahleova, study author and director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine explained here.
The bottom line is, a low carb diet may help you lose weight in the short term. However, it may also lead to health adverse risks in the future. We recommend eating a blanched diet, with complex carbs, healthy fats and protein. Results in the short term, are not worth health risks in the long term.