How Many Carbs In A Low Carb Diet are Too Low

  • Usman 

Rising obesity levels over the last few decades have created a supply market for dieting solutions that play with the psyche of the people. Most of the diets try to provide quick weight loss solutions, though without much science behind them. 

You name a food and there is likely to be a diet plan dedicated to that. Even there is a diet named Snake Diet. And same goes for the major food groups. 

So carbohydrates being the biggest macronutrient in our diets couldn’t be immune from this diet plans’ innovation. They have a diet named after carbs called low carb diet. But before we discuss how many carbs in a low carb diet lets discuss for a few seconds what a low carb diet is. 

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What Is a Low Carb Diet?

Current U.S Government Dietary Guidelines recommend that our daily consumption of carbs should be between 40 and 60 percent of our total daily calorie intake. While there is now officially agreed definition of a low carbohydrate or low carb diet, but we can derive a definition from these dietary recommendations. 

There is one universal defining characteristic of a low carb diet. Any weight loss program that makes it a point that you restrict your carbohydrate intake or count your carb intake on a daily basis to the minutest details is most likely a low carb diet. 

Therefore, assuming that your daily calorie consumption is 1500 calories, your upper limit for daily carb consumption would be 900 calories coming from carbohydrates and the lower limit will be 600 calories. In weight terms, it would be between 150 and 225 grams. So anything under 150 grams per day would be technically defined as a low carb diet. 

One major research study set the limit of 60 grams per day. Any diet that recommends eating less than this was defined as a low cab diet. 

Benefits of a low carb diet

There are some well established medical benefits of low carb diet. For example, a low carb diet has been used for managing seizures by physicians. It is also a recommended diet for diabetes. Here are few other benefits of a low carb diet: 

  • Lower HbA1c which is a predictor of historical blood sugar levels
  • Improved chances of  weight loss success
  • Reduced chances of blood sugar spikes
  • Lower risk of abnormally low sugar levels called hypoglycemia
  • Feeling more energized throughout the day
  • Reduced craving intensity and frequency for snacks and sugary drinks
  • Clearer thinking without brain fog
  • Reduction in risk for health issues in the long term

What side effects exist on a low carb diet?

Is low carb diet suitable for everyone? Some famous low carb diets like Keto Diet, Dukan diet and Atkins diet have all shown promise for a rapid loss in the short term. 

However, almost all of these are against nature because these restrict carbohydrate intake to extremely low levels. For example on Keto Diet, almost 90 percent of your calories are taken from fats and rest from protein and carbs. 

But should you be one of those who should reduce carb intake to below the recommended level of 40 percent of your total daily calories?

When we persist with these low carb diets for long, side effects of these low carb diets start creeping up. Some of the most common side effects that can be experienced are:

  • Hypoglycemia is a big possibility, especially if you are already diabetic and take insulin injections or tablets to manage your blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar levels may drop dangerous low on a low carb diet.
  • Brain fog — since your brain would not be getting ready source of energy i.e. glucose derived from carbs
  • Headaches
  •  Constipation
  • Possible nutrient deficiencies — Carbohydrates provide numerous essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals and by avoiding carbs, you can increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies which can become very debilitating.

Therefore, rather than being inspired by buzz word diets, it is recommended that you stick to the basics of healthy nutrition. It is not important that how many carbs in a low carb diet are there but what is more essential is that you eat a balanced diet. You can always refer to authentic dietary guidance at choosemyplate.gov for what should your plate look like. And even if you decide to follow a low carb diet for a little time, do not make these low carb diet mistakes.  

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Muhammad Usman

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