Carbohydrates and Weight Control
For the brain, the kidneys, the central nervous system, and most of the vital organs, carbohydrates are the single source of fuel. Carbohydrates are broken down by the digestive system into glucose and the hormone insulin is secreted by the pancreas, helping the glucose to move from the blood into the cells.
The popularity of the low carbohydrate diets is on the rise nowadays. Often, fewer than 60 grams of carbohydrates are contained employed by such diets. Many doctors disapprove of them because these diets limit vegetables, fruits, cereals, and high fiber breads. At the same time, they contain high levels of saturated fats.
Individuals who are fond of low carbohydrate diets hold the opinion that kilojoules should be obtained exclusively from fat and protein sources. In this manner, vegetables, cereals, and fruits are limited so that more attention is given to dairy foods, meat, and fat. To give an example of foods which form the low carbohydrate diet, we should mention chicken, beef, fish, bacon, non-starchy vegetables, eggs, butter, oils, and mayonnaise. Foods listed as forbidden are bread, fruit, vegetables, grains, and most of the diary products with the exception of cream, cheese, and butter.
Your everyday nutritional needs will not be met by the low carbohydrate diets. This is why in order to remain healthy, you should include in your diet:
- Four cereals or bread serves
- Two fruit serves
- Five vegetable serves
- Two milk cups
In case that the carbohydrates in the diet aren't enough, the body turns glycogen into glucose in order to meet fuel needs. The excess glucose is stored as glycogen. In order for one gram of glycogen to be released, approximately three grams of water are needed. The initial loss of weight, therefore, is the result of water loss rather than the loss of body fat. The rebuilding of muscle tissue is accomplished when the normal diet is resumed. The weight is restored fast as more water is absorbed mainly in the form of fat. This problem is known as the "yoyo" effect in dieting.
A healthy approach is needed for the weight loss "campaign". To lose weight in the best possible way, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, legumes, whole grains, and dairy products with low fat should be consumed.
Lower obesity rates are observed with people known to be vegetarians and consuming mainly diets based on plants. Their rates of cancer and heart disease are also lower, compared with people on meat diets. Unrefined carbohydrates diets help reduce obesity and overweight.
Some side effects should also be noted while an individual is on a low carbohydrate diet. Examples, for a short period of time, may include dizziness, nausea, lethargy, constipation, bad breath, dehydration, and appetite lose.
The side effects on health are unknown while on low carbohydrate diet for a long time. Such diets, however, are thought to be inadequate because they list few vegetables and fruits. They have limited thiamin, fiber, vitamins A, B6 and E, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and antioxidants. The risk of developing cancer is increased while on such a diet as it restricts the needed fiber and antioxidants found in vegetables and fruits.
The risk of heart disease is increased when on a low carbohydrate diet due to high levels of saturated fat. Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are examples of obesity disorders, associated with diets rich in fats and protein.
When carbohydrate is limited, in order to generate glucose, the body breaks down muscles or various tissues. "Ketones" are produced in the process, and they are regarded as waste products. When people with anorexia nervosa starve or suffer from untreated diabetes dependant on insulin, the state of 'ketosis' is observed. Blood is made acidic by the ketones. They can lead to fatal consequences for women who are soon to deliver and for people with diabetes. The heart is also not to functioning properly and to its full capacity when its main energy sources are the ketone bodies.