Low-carb diets are very effective for weight loss.
You probably have heard about the many popular low-carb diets such as keto, paleo, and Atkins from what people are chatting about on social media or on the news. However, there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding them. Many are skeptical and still do not believe in the efficacy of these diets. Many also believe that they are too restrictive and that the dieter is denied too many foods for enjoyment.
Here are 8 popular myths about low-carb diets that you may have probably heard before, and why they are debunked.
I can’t eat fruits and vegetables on a low carb diet
This is one of the most popular misconceptions people have about low-carb diets. They believe this because many of the calories we get from fruits and vegetables come from carbohydrates. Most low-carb diets encourage people to eat non-starchy vegetables instead of grains. Choosing the right fruits and vegetables means you will get the benefits of high fiber foods that also contain key vitamins and minerals that are important to your overall good health.
These vegetables are recommended on a low carb diet:
- Iceberg lettuce
- White mushrooms
- Swiss chard
- Bell peppers
- Alfalfa sprouts
These fruits are recommended on a low carb diet:
Low-carb diets destroy the kidneys
While it is true that people with kidney diseases are advised to stay away from too much protein, eating a low-carb diet will not cause more harm to the kidney. A low-carb diet cannot destroy a functioning kidney. There is no reason why those who are watching their protein intake should be concerned with the protein content of most vegetables which only contain protein in moderate proportions.
Low-carb diets mean you can’t eat any carbohydrates
Some people associate low carbohydrates with no carbohydrates.
Even on the most restrictive diet like the ketogenic diet, some carbohydrates are allowed. Usually, less than 20g of carbs per day if very strict or less than 50g of carbs per day if on a more moderate keto (dirty keto) diet. On the paleo approach, up to 100-130g of carbs are allowable for consumption per day and are encouraged so that there can be enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber to offset the other foods not eaten.
Low-carb diets do not allow fiber
Fiber is a carbohydrate but it is not digested in the body. This means that it is not used by the body but is still very important in the role it plays in staying regular as well as its effect on reducing blood sugar.
Many advertisements have popularized the importance of whole grains in relation to fiber, and since low-carb diets don’t encourage eating grains, many people assume that in order to maintain the right amount of fiber our bodies need, we should be eating grains. We should try to eat more leafy greens like spinach and broccoli because they contain some of the most fiber and are recommended as perfect low carb vegetable sources.
There is no variety
Many who have never tried a low carb diet think that low-carb diets do not have enough variety. This is simply not true since there are many foods that are allowed on a low carb diet. All the different types of fruits and vegetables from the above list as well as all sorts of seeds, nuts, cheeses, meats, fish, and poultry are allowed! There are wonderful ways of combining these foods in the kitchen to create new and exciting flavors without sacrificing your daily carb count!
It’s a fad
Fad diets are commonly referred to as diets that have a short life in the eyes of the public. It also refers to diets that are not generally accepted because of some negative press. Some believe that low-carb diets are seen as fad diets and don’t have the potential to last long-term.
Despite this theory, low-carb diets have been popular because they work and will continue to be an effective tool for many people who have never been successful on other diets. Many obese people find that the extreme carbohydrate restrictive keto diet is the only way that they have successfully lost weight.
Our brains only need glucose to function
Some people think that our brains can only function on glucose. This is not true.
The brain can efficiently run on ketones and glucose. Ketones are produced by the body and act as fuel for the brain instead of glucose (sugar) when there is an absence of carbohydrates. Research has shown that brains fueled by ketones tend to have more clarity and sharpened concentration than brains fueled by glucose. This myth that our brains only need glucose to function can easily be debunked because the results of studies that have been done on people with Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy show that brain functionality is improved with ketones as opposed to glucose as fuel.
It’s difficult to stick with
People claim that a low carb diet is not sustainable because it limits the kind of food we eat. This claim isn’t exactly true because it limits carbohydrates, not proteins or fats. Therefore, there are many foods that are included in this type of diet that make it a very viable option for those people who want to try something different when other diets have not worked in the past. If you chose a wide variety of proteins and vegetables to cook with, you can find lots of exciting ways to create meals that will make it easier for you to stick with your low carb diet.
In Short…as with all dietary changes, it is advisable to ask your doctor if a low carb diet is right for you. And as always, when on a carbohydrate-restricted diet, whether it is Atkins, paleo or keto, make sure that you drink enough water so that dehydration during the summer months can be avoided.