Are Low Carb Diets Safe?

There are many who swear by the effectiveness of the implementation of a low carb diet and others who condemn them as unsafe and unhealthy for the human body. Here are both the pros and cons of a low carb diet.

When Did the Low Carb Diet Craze Start?

It all started in the early 70’s with a certain infamous diet program that promised to millions of dieters around the world that no carbs and less carbs was a good thing and that they would get fast results and lose those pesky pounds if they tossed the carbs and focused on protein.

No longer was eating bacon a diet program faux pas and this of course was a dream come true to men and women struggling with their weight loss. After this infamous diet program others followed and now it seems there are more low carb diet programs, books, DVD’s and meal plans then one can even count but we all know it started way back in the swinging 70’s with a big A which taught mainstream America how to count carbs, eat succulent meats and get incredibly results.

What a Low Carb Diet Does?

Low Carb diets are built around the concept that low carb intake is always a good thing and greatly increases one’s chances of losing weight, usually by strictly limiting the amount of carbs a person is allowed to eat or some times cutting carbs out of a person’s daily diet all together which can bring both good and bad effects on the human body.

The Risks and Benefits of a Low Carb Diet

The Pros:

  • Weight loss is usually achieved rather quickly which of course is desirable for dieters

  • The ability to eat foods like bacon and other like foods while you are dieting

  • Increased energy

  • Better cognitive focus and concentration

  • No more over eating because you feel fuller given your higher then usual protein intake

  • Overall improved dental health meaning less plaque on your teeth and a whiter smile

  • Improvement in muscle or joint pain for those who were experiencing such symptoms

  • Less headaches and migraines for those afflicted

  • Considerable improvement in PMS symptoms during one’s cycle which can be a major plus

  • Clearer better looking skin free of blemishes and dark spots

  • Even an improved mood

  • You can eat as much as you want and still lose weight

But as with any kind of program there can also be side effects and cons to low carb dieting.

The Cons:

  • Fainting which can happen due to insufficient amount of electrolytes in the body

  • A compromised sympathetic system resulting in a feeling of dizziness

  • A raise in LDL or bad cholesterol which raises your blood pressure

  • An increased risk of heart disease and cardiovascular complications

  • Puts your body is an unhealthy metabolic mode known as ketosis

  • Too much protein consumption can increased your chances of developing some form of cancer

  • Worse and impaired cognitive abilities due to an absence of glucose

  • Development of nutritional deficiencies and imbalances

  • Chronic constipation

  • Possible kidney problems and issues with kidney functions

  • The development of osteoporosis which can lead to brittle bones and bad fractures and breaks

  • The development of gout which can be a severely painful affliction

  • Gallbladder issues resulting in pain and sometimes even necessary surgery

People who should not attempt to go on a low carb dieting program

Some individuals due to certain diseases should never cut carbs out of their diet. People such as:

  • People with a history of heart disease as low carb diet can bring a plethora of heart complications

  • People who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes as carbs provide the human body with essential glucose that is paramount to healthy blood sugar levels

  • People who already have cancer

  • People who already suffer from vitamin and nutritional deficiencies

  • Children as they need carbohydrates to grow and develop properly

So if you have any of these diseases or afflictions then going on a low carb or no carb diet is not advisable and can bring adverse short term and long term effects and in some cases even have fatal results.

Children, especially should never go on a low carb diet, as carbohydrates, particularly complex ones are essential to the healthy growth and development of a child, especially their brain.

The Future of Low Carb Dieting

The low carb diet craze is one that probably will not be fading any time soon, as it only seems to grow in popularity despite the adherent risks involved for some individuals with compromised immune systems and chronic diseases though it can even adversely effect people with no known chronic illnesses. The pros and cons are typically dependent on how extreme you are in your diet regiment.

If you over do it and completely cut out carbs thereby eliminating the necessary intake of glucose derived from those carbohydrates then of course there is to be expected adverse side effects such as low energy and fainting in some people. However, on the flip side if you do not go overboard and keep your overall physical health in mind over that of your physical appearance or desired physical appearance and you only cut down on carbs a little bit without entirely eliminating them from your diet then the negative side effects should be considerably less.

The pros and cons of low carb diet typically hinge on the actions and process of the dieter them self. If you take it to the extreme then it may have extreme results that are not necessarily good. If you exercise control however then you may achieve the desired results with out any short term or long term side effects and maintain your health as well. As with anything moderation should always be practiced, low carb dieting is unsafe if you make it that way.


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