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The Little Known Dangers Of Low Carb Diets

Apr 25, 2008
Up. Down. Up. Down. The world of a perpetual dieter is a never-ending rollercoaster. Gaining and losing weight is just another part of the daily struggle. There's a reason the dieting industry is raking in billions of dollars a year and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. Fad diets have been a huge selling point. We've all tried our share of crazy ones! Anyone remember the hot chocolate diet? Not so good. How about the yam diet? Yeah, let's forget that one ever happened! Some plans haven't been so easily dismissed. The low carb diet has continually gained momentum and it seems everyone has tried it at some point. However, there are little known dangers when it comes to this eating plan - some that cannot be ignored.

The low carb diet can be very dangerous to your heart. This is true whether or not you've ever had issues with this area of your health before. The American Heart Association was so concerned they actually drafted a paper outlining the danger. They know a low carb diet often means a high protein diet. This can lead to an increase in bad cholesterol and cause a fertile breeding ground for cardiovascular disease. This is when a heart attack could sneak in. Scary stuff. Critics of diets like this say any weight loss is temporary, which makes the entire process an exercise in futility that only leaves you with a bad heart.

If you like to use your brain (and don't most of us?), a low carb diet should be reconsidered. The brain needs carbohydrates, or more specifically glucose, to continue working. In fact, it needs twice as much energy than any other body part. Neurons (which are the cells that communicate with one another) are constantly working and need to be re-energized on an on-going basis. This can't happen if there isn't a supply of glucose coming in. If you are using your brain to figure out a problem, the demand is even higher. So, the next time you're trying to figure out your taxes or maybe even just how much money your children are siphoning out of your life, eat a granola bar!

Eating fewer carbs to lose weight can backfire. A low carb diet has been shown to result in a loss of muscle. Just like glucose fuels the brain, it also fuels your muscles. This means you'll lose muscle tone and start getting flabby. Less muscle also means your metabolism will slow down and you'll lose weight even more slowly than to begin with. Doesn't that seem awfully futile? Thought so.

There's a reason experts suggest a balanced diet to lose weight. The truth is we need a little bit of everything to keep our bodies functioning at an optimum level. Cutting out certain foods won't do the trick. Instead of driving yourself crazy by following the latest and greatest fad diet, take a step back and aim to be healthy. You didn't gain the weight overnight, so don't expect to lose it overnight! Take a deep breath, eat a piece of bread and go to sleep happy!
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