I hadn't seen her for awhile. She was 15 or 20 pounds thinner and her face looked so tired and drawn. Even her coloring was a little off. I asked her how she was holding up, and she replied "fine, just very tired." She was getting ready for a wedding in her family. I immediately suspected she may be on a low carb diet...
Very low carb diets like the Atkin's program are still quite popular. Yes, you can lose weight quickly for awhile, and some people swear by them and follow them to the extreme. I am not a fan.
Carbs are one of the 3 macronutrients that supply energy to our bodies along with protein and fat. All three are vital to our health. You should never go on any diet that eliminates an entire macronutrient group. Carbs provide quick energy and are our body's preferred "go-to" fuel.
If you choose to avoid carbohydrates, what happens?
- Lower energy level. Without the quick energy supply of carbohydrates, it's hard for your body to keep a good, steady blood glucose level. (Glucose is a simple carb, a.k.a. sugar.)
- Increased fatigue.
- Brain function is often described as sluggish/not as clear thinking. Glucose is the only type of fuel that runs your brain.
- Physical performance slows. Carbs provide that vital quick energy: athletes know better than to ever attempt low carb diets.
- Increase in occurrence of depression and anxiety have been recently correlated with low carb diets.
- Bad breath. When fats and proteins are broken down into glucose, by-products called ketones are produced, which gives off the notorious "ketone-breath." Ugh.
- Constipation, hemorrhoids. Low carb diets tend to be lower in fiber, which often result in very uncomfortable digestive issues. Need I say more?
Reach for healthy, whole grain breads, cereals, grains, vegetables, and fruits every day. These sources of carbohydrates provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that give you what your body needs to keep you healthy.