Diet and Nutrition

The Benefits of a No-Carb Diet: Is It Right for You?

Introduction

A no carbs diet is also known as a zero carb diet or carb-free diet is an ultra-low carbs eating plan where contributors avoid all foods containing carbohydrates. The rationale here is that carbohydrate restriction makes the body use fat as the primary source of fuel, thereby creating a calorie deficit that results in weight loss and other benefits.

On an authentic no carb diet, individuals eliminate all foods with carbohydrates such as breads, pasta, rice, beans, fruits and vegetables with high starch content, milk, yogurt, juice and sweets. Foods permitted in significant amounts are meat, fish, eggs, non-starch vegetables, fats, and some cheese, cream, and butter.

The survey showed that, although people thought that the zero carb diet was unhealthy, they also had several reasons to stick to it.

There are several hypothesized benefits that motivate people to follow a no carb diet:Several potential benefits have been proposed as to why people choose to go for no carb diet.

 Weight loss 
Since the followers are barred from taking any carbs at all, they are made to use fat for energy, making weight loss a real possibility. Some start with the temporary loss of water weight due to the burning out of glycogen at the onset of exercise.

Diabetes control: It has been set up that fast carbohydrate diets can impact the insulin perceptivity and blood glucose position in a positive manner compared to high carbohydrate diets. It may be particularly helpful to those with diabetes or threat of developing it, with prediabetes being in this order.

 Mental clarity  
People using VLC HF have reported their diet as giving mental clarity, focus and energy because carbohydrates only cause sudden energy fluctuations.

Still, the no carb diet is still questionable substantially because of the veritably low allowance of carbohydrates in the diet besides the shy long- term studies on the safety of this diet. Foods that are allowed during a Zero Carb Diet To be precise, there are numerous foods that are confined during a zero carb diet, but it should be noted that there are certain foods that are allowed..

However, as all the carbohydrate sources are cut off, it is even more way stricter than all other diets. Here are the main food groups allowed:Here are the main food groups allowed:   

Meat:

  •  Beef
  •  Pork 
  •  Lamb
  •  Goat  
  •  Veal
  •  Meat and chicken, especially chicken and turkey
  •  Wild game 
  •  There are organs meats such as liver 

Fish and seafood:

  •  Salmon
  •  Tuna  
  •  Trout 
  •  Sardines
  •  Shrimp, crabs, and lobsters are kind of shellfish.

Eggs:

  • Chicken eggs
  • Duck eggs

Non-starchy vegetables:

  •  Some of the vegetables that are rich in nutrients include; spinach, lettuce among others. Broccoli, cauliflower 
  •  Broccoli, cauliflower  
  •  Bell peppers 
  •  Onions, garlic
  •  Asparagus, green beans      

Dairy:

  •  Butter
  •  Semi-hard to hard firm cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan, Swiss or provolone  
  •  Heavy whipping cream    
  •  Fats and oils:
  •  Lard
  •  Tallow
  •  Coconut oil
  •  Olive oil
  •   Avocado oil  

True no carb diets exclude consumption of nuts and seeds because these contain carbohydrates. The same is the case with many products made from soy such as tofu and edamame. 

In order to help you avoid some of the pitfalls associated with the zero carb diet, below is a list of foods that you should strip out of your diet completely.

Since the rules of a no carb diet mandate zero carbohydrate input, then are the main foods to eliminateAs the no carb diet entails the eradication of carbohydrate consumption, then are the main foods to count:

All grains:

 Eg breads, pastas, rices, oats, wheat, barley and so on

Fruits:  

  • Apple, banana, grapes; oranges, lemons, etc.
  • Strawberries Blueberries etc   
  • Dehydrated fruits/ fruits’ concentrates
  • Beans and legumes:
  • Green peas, black eyed beans, red beans 
  • Peanuts  

Starchy vegetables:  

  • Potatoes, corn, peas  
  • Winter squash varieties  

Sugar and sweets:

  •  Granulated sugar/sucrose, brown sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut nectar
  •  Sweets and chocolates, ice cream and other dairy products, cakes and cookies   
  •  Honey, molasses 

Low fat/diet products that are processed also contain a lot of carbs because carbo still counts when it is low in fat. In addition, sweeteners, yogurt, milk, sweetened nut milks and smoothies prepared from fruits or sweeteners.      

This reduces nearly all the common foods that are consumed in a normal diet. It is very hard to make a Net carb intake of zero grams per day and at the same time feeding the body with necessary nutrients. There is potential to gain weight, weak physical condition, and hunger during the adaptation phase as well.

List of Advantages of No Carbs Diet

There are some hypothesized benefits for severely limiting carbs, though there’s still research to be done on very low carb/ketogenic diets. Potential benefits include:  

Weight Loss

It is noted however that one loses a significant amount of weight within the first one to two weeks on a carb-free diet by the simple fact that the glycogen stored in the liver contains water and thus as soon as glycogen is depleted so is the water. The followers are made to burn fats and not carbohydrates in order to power their activities, and this they draw from fats. Life change diets and very low carb diets have also recorded more weight loss than low fat diets. Nevertheless, the issue of whether ketogenic diets result in higher fat mass reduction in the long-run remains ambiguous.

Reduced Appetite

Research shows that very low carb diets have benefits in terms of decreasing ghrelin, the hunger hormone while increasing satiety hormones like PYY and GLP-1. This, coupled with no spikes in blood sugar levels due to absence of carb intake, can lead to one feeling satiated for most of the time between the taken meals.

Improved Blood Sugar Control

Eating fewer carb sources could help the blood sugar levels stabilize, and insulin resilience for a person with diabetes or prediabetes. Both human and animal studies have shown that low carbohydrate diets can help decrease insulin secretion levels while maintaining normal glucose levels. They might enable some diabetics to cut down the dose of their medications.

Lowering Blood Pressure and Triglycerides 

Minor evidence also suggests that keto and very low carbohydrate diets are superior to standard high carbohydrate diets in improving other risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure and triglyceride levels. However, more studies are still required in order to come up with more concrete conclusions and findings.

Mental Focus

Steady energy, and absence of fluctuations seen in those on low carbs diets may boost the mental performance and concentration of followers in a manner that is pleasing to the palate. This is because ketones that are generated from the burning of fat are used as fuel by the brain. But to address cognition issues a longer type of studies is needed.   

Downsides and Health Risks

Despite the rising popularity of keto and very low carb diets, there are several downsides reported by followers including:Despite the rising popularity of keto and very low carb diets, there are several downsides reported by followers including: 

Keto Flu Symptoms

Early days of keto leads to discomforts known as keto flu which is experienced by the followers when they switch to very low levels of carb intake, and may last up to two weeks. Side effects such as weakness, fatigue, headache, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and constipation manifest themselves as the body shifts from using glucose to ketone and fats. Electrolytes are also essential for the body, and their enough supply can minimize the symptoms.

Nutrient Deficiencies

However, it has not been proven, very low carbohydrate diets do hold a risk for development of deficiencies if vegetable intake is still inadequate after long term use. This type of diet can prove to be low in fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate and other vitamins and can easily lead to a restricted fruit, grain and legume intake. Supplementation is often necessary.

Lean Muscle Loss Risk

There is little evidence to support that even higher protein intake, of approximately 1 g protein per pound of lean body mass, may prevent the loss of muscle when following VLC KDs. But for the same goal of promoting lean tissue gain on one hand and loss of fat on the other hand is a task that is hard to achieve. Increasing the portion sizes of carbohydrates in the refeed days could have a positive impact.

Gut Health Imbalances

There is scarce evidence suggesting that very low carb diets could bring about configurations in the gut microbiome which hinders gut health. Incorporation of diet also appears to have significant impact on effects based on whether fat or protein intake is increased to replace lost carbs.

Unrealistic Long Term

While compliance with ketosis and very low carb diets, including a restrictive one, is typically high initially; it drops significantly over time. People have more cravings, are associated with negative emotions concerning the forbidden foods, have more temptations of cheat meals, and have problems with social events or eating out while on a particular diet.

Like any other fad diets that are not backed by long term results, anyone willing to do away with carbs in his/her diet should do so carefully. Experts suggest that paying attention to biomarkers and following individual reactions to food can reduce possible adverse effects that may occur in some people after weeks or months of consumption. Individuals suffering from specific ailments that are a result of nutritional deficiencies may need close monitoring from a physician.

Proper preparation should be done so as to make the necessary changes as easy as possible: Zero Carb Diet Tips for Beginners 

However, it may be challenging to adopt the no-carb diet in the physical and psychological perspectives. Here are some tips to do it in a safe, sustainable way:These are some ways of doing it in a safer and environmentally friendly manner:

Self-audit motivation or desire and have realistic goals concerning the expected body composition and its time frame. This is because extreme diets are unhealthy and may lead to collapse in utmost of the druggies.

Prepare for veritably low carb foods similar to meat, fish, eggs fats, nuts, seeds and low carb vegetables. Preparation methods can also be helpful at times such as meal prepping. 

To track the amount of net carbs one takes and avoid taking over 30-50 grams of net carbs (or none) depending on the goals set, tracking apps is very useful.

Drinking water: taking more potassium from sea salt and bone broths or potassium supplements to reduce “keto flu” signs of sleeplessness, muscle weakness, and headaches.

They include increasing activity levels and resistance training so as to counter possible lean mass losses likely to happen.

Track how you feel for at least 4 weeks and modify the diet if you notice signal signs such as hunger, lethargy, food cravings, and changes in lab markers. 

It is suggested to add carb refeeds if the person performs rigorous physical exercises, to replenish glycogen in muscles and anabolic hormones, when in fat adaptation.

Screen lipid profiles, micronutrient and digestive profiles in the long-term and adjust diets as appropriate.

No carb diet is a very restrictive diet that one has to be very disciplined and a strict biohacker in order to follow safely and healthily. Before making drastic changes in your diet, always seek the advice of your doctor if you have a chronic illness or condition. It is effective for some areas such as blood sugar control depending on the type of diabetes but not sustainable as a long term lifestyle solution because nutrition may be insufficient at some point and most subjects’ quality of life may be affected.

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