Low-carb diets are all the rage and they aren’t showing any indications of letting up. The fact is, low carb diets work (mostly), which is one of the more obvious reasons why they are so popular. But low carb diets have also been given a “mantra status,” and turned some previously intelligent, sophisticated people into dogmatic, “I want to punch them in the mouth,” people.
We’ve all had the friend who went from fun and social to a carb-hating monster who seems just a few ticks off from going into a grocery store and lighting the bread aisle on fire.
I’m sure that most of you have already read the “benefits of a low carb diet” information. How could you have not? It is everywhere. Someone on my Facebook feed shares a pro-low-carb article at least once a day. It would have been difficult to miss the information and the rhetoric by now. The low carb base is all fuel and fire.
Here’s my personal incite into the low carb hysteria.
Is Low Carb Good For You?
For me, lower carb eating is definitely a healthier, more productive lifestyle. The problem with low carb is that once it becomes extreme, it tends to work against the subject of the diet. Low carb has extreme health and productivity value, but you need to understand what that value is and use it appropriately, without falling into the low carb dogma.
So let’s get down and dirty, shall we?
I keep throwing that word around…”productivity.” Why is that applicable when talking about a diet? The reason is, and please put this under big bright lights, the brain is our life’s engine. The faster our brains work, the more productive we can be. Our brains, like our legs, get tired after a bit of running. Your brain can become a dull object after a lot of thinking. The brain, as science would have it, runs much better on fat than it does on carbs.
And that means more work done in less time spent. And it means more details covered than details missed. It means pulling from the memory bank faster, which means spending less time pulling from the brain’s main database of collected information.
So then this should mean just stop eating carbs so that your brain works fantastic and you become the most productive person on earth, right?
Let’s get back to that.
Low carb diets are proven to help people lose weight, though the science behind why they lose the weight is oftenthe subject of heavy debate. There are too many studies that show it low carb works for weight loss, and there is an overabundance of information from the anecdotal end as well.
So this means you should just stop eating any carb at all? Potentially, this means you should not only stop eating carbs but tell your friends that you refuse to be in the presence of carbs, right?
The issue here is, the low carb diet just isn’t the exponential scenario people think (and hope) it to be. Once people experience some low carb results, such as increased brain power and weight loss, they tend to think these effects could be magnified by going more extreme. But the logic fails, and here is why.
Carbs are still necessary to good health and a good brain and weight loss.
Carbs from natural fruits and vegetables are typically fibrous. Fiber helps our digestion immensely, but it also is good for making us feel fuller in a healthier way. Fiber is heavily linked to weight loss.
Resistant starches play a critical role in our brain/gut health. Low carb diets almost always eliminate resistant starches, such as potatoes, unripe bananas, cooked and cooled rice and various other starchy items. Science shows us that cooling previously cooked rice gives it more a resistant impact. While this might not seem like a big deal, resistant starches are considered prebiotics. Without prebiotics, probiotics have little to feed on. A healthy gut means prebiotics and probiotics working symbiotically. An unhealthy gut can mean an unhealthy brain.
Carbs help build muscle. The archaic concept that athletes should eat carbs before an athletic undertaking is now old science. Most modern athletes realize that carbs should come after the workout so that they can replace glycogen stores in the muscles. Without replacing glycogen stores, you will likely burn off your muscle after a workout.
Ketosis (extreme low carb) often comes with unwanted side effects such as insomnia and irritability and digestion issues. The insomnia is something I’ve personally experienced. Carbs at night tend to “calm” or “placate” us. Without them, we just lay there in our fat burning modes unable to turn off our brains. The facet of low carb that’s extremely beneficial suddenly turns against us. Proper sleep is heavily linked to improved brain health and weight loss, so don’t take this side effect lightly.
Low carb might make you a jerk. Seriously, the science is there! Low carb often has the side effect of being irritable and impatient. Combine that with someone who develops a dogmatic view on their low carb diet and you get someone that’s not super liked. It happens all the time.
Low Carb Side Effects | Now What?
Can you fight off some of the more severe low carb side effects? Yes, you can. Here’s how.
You might check out our Alpha Brain Review. Nootropics can sometimes help counter the unwanted side effects of low carb, with particular emphasis on irritability.
Make sure you eat a lot more fat. Once the carbs stop, your body will be serving fat for energy and if you are still eating lower fat, then you will run out and start to feel fatigued.
Watch your salt. Low carb can cause you to release a lot of water stores which rids your body of important sodium. Make sure you get some salt such as pink Himalayan salt into your diet.
Low Carb is good, but don’t ruin it.
In the end, low carb diets are proven winners and they’ve helped a great many people lose weight and improve their health stats. But falling for dogmatic views and joining a low carb cult isn’t good for you or for anyone else that surrounds you.