4 awful side effects of going low-carb

Published: February 17, 2018
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: In the gruesome age of ruthless diets, the bandwagon of going carb-free has is being mounted like there’s no tomorrow. We understand you want to win the battle of the bulge but the question remains: At what cost?

1) Extreme exhaustion

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

“In addition to giving your muscles the energy they need to power through a workout, your brain runs on carbs too,” nutritionist Karen Ansel, author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging. “In fact, it burns through close to 500 calories worth of carbs a day, so if you’re cutting carbs to the bare bones you’re going to feel it, and it’s not going to be pretty.”

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Turns out, your brain relies on carbohydrates for energy and without them, your brain power will suffer and that midday crash might hit you hard. You might find it hard to focus throughout the day, reports Men’s Health magazine. In fact, you need more carbs the longer you work out, because increased glycogen in the muscles has been linked to better performance in strength and endurance exercises.

2) Mighty mood swings

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PHOTO: FILE

Think irritability at the minutest of things that aren’t going your way. Think snapping at your family and loved ones for apparently no reason at all. Think getting super ill-tempered when your kids aren’t behaving at optimal behavior. Doesn’t sound too dandy now does it?

Without enough carbohydrates, your blood sugar will drop, leaving you feeling moody, according to dieticians. “Because carbohydrates are critical for production of the mood balancing brain chemical serotonin, you’re likely to be irritable as well,” Ansel adds.

3) Crabby constipation

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PHOTO: FILE

“Carbs are the only food source that contains fiber,” says Keri Gans, dietician and author of The Small Change Diet. “Fiber helps to control blood glucose levels, may help lower cholesterol, and promotes bowel regularity.”

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By skipping fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you’ll likely develop an unforgiving case of constipation. To avoid this, be sure to eat high fiber fruits like bananas, blueberries, apples and pears. Legumes like beans, peas and lentils, whole grains, and winter squashes such as butternut squash and zucchini are also good options.

4) Bad bad breath…

PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

If constipation and nasty mood swings weren’t an issue for you, this one will be! When your diet is lacking in carbs, your body starts burning fat as fuel, producing ketones. “Acetone, one of the ketones, causes your breath to smell fruity [and sour],” explains dietician Tanya Zuckerbrot.

So what’s the correct way to go absolutely carb-free? “There is no right way. Carbs are a necessity and should not be eliminated from the diet,” she adds. But if you’re looking to drop a few inches along your waistline, skip the refined sugars and simple starches. In other words, put down the doughnut and grab an apple – and watch those stubborn fat cells shrink!

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