Written by: Mutshidzi Kwinda
Following a healthy diet is something that most of us aspire. However, the intent behind that aspiration varies and sometimes may not (if not carefully monitored) yield good benefits. The question comes with, what is good and what is bad?
The topic of diet is one that has revolved around our lives daily, for decades. It is not surprising or unlikely to hear someone talk about their journey or process of altering their diet into one that they think is healthier and in favor of the benefits they want. The alteration of diet, however, has become a sensation for us young women over the years. A few years ago, I was on the verge of changing my diet from eating anything and everything to something that I did not even understand only because my ”peers” were doing it and the changes looked good.
Whilst a balanced diet is what we should all consider first for the fact that it can give us all the vitamins, nutrition and other good effects of eating well. Many of us may prefer the other routes like a no (or extremely low) carb diet.
This is a type of diet that includes, in it, many other sub-diets. A no-carb diet is defined as” a way of eating that eliminates digestible carbs as much as possible”. In this way, some people cut back on things like (but not limited to) bread, grains, fruits, starchy vegetables, beans, pasta, baked products, milk, etc. Depending on how and why an individual may want to alter their diet or shift towards a no-carb diet, the choice of food may vary. Some food included on a no-carb diet, within the fats and proteins is; meat, seafood, some vegetables (leafy vegetables, fresh herbs, cucumber) and water or other low carb drinks.
In most cases, the ultimatum for this turning point usually includes weight loss benefits. However, there are other reasons why people may consider or be advised to lower their intake of carbohydrates in their diets. For example, when someone has a medical condition where management or treatment regimen includes non-medicinal measures such as losing weight. In
this case, diet alteration might not be specifically no-carb, but just a healthier way of eating in addition to other lifestyle modifications (such as exercising, cutting out alcohol and tobacco smoking, etc).
Energy. When we eat carbs (also known as saccharides), they are converted into glucose by a process called glycolysis. When there are not enough carbohydrates for this process to occur, the body tends to utilize stored fats and proteins through the process called ketosis to compensate for energy. The undesirable results of this may include smelly breath, nausea, weakness, and fatigue.
It is substantial for people who have chronic health conditions that are aggravated or made worse by weight gain. Such conditions include but are not limited to Diabetes Mellitus (especially Type 2), Metabolic syndrome, High blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases. It is also an ideal way of losing weight for people who are overweight or obese. However, it is
important that before commencing with your diet change you consult your doctor for distinct guidance and advice.
As we all know, too much of anything can be a disadvantage and may even kill if it is not adequately managed.
It is important that if you want to change your diet that you do it gradually to reduce the risks such as weakness, fatigue, skin rash, constipation or diarrhea, headaches, vitamin and mineral deficiency. Along with other effects that come with ketosis.
Such a diet can also have long-term effects such as, problems with the gastrointestinal tract and loss in bone mass. And if your alternative diet is a meat diet, researchers warn that there is a possibility of developing cancer. Now I guess the question is, is a no-carb diet good for you?
The diverse human compartment makes each one of us unique. You may find that a good routine to one may not be a beneficial routine to another and vice versa. It is advisable that if you are considering changing your diet, you speak to your doctor or dietician to help you work out the benefits and risks.