Are There Risks Involved in Following a High Protein Low Carbohydrate Diet?

The high protein low carbohydrate diet is based on increasing protein take in the form of meat and eggs and almost no carbohydrates at all. This is the fastest and most effective method of losing weight. Most diet plans allow unrestricted amounts of protein and forbid rice, pasta, bread potatoes, many vegetables, sugar and and cheese.

Reducing carbohydrates intake in large amounts causes the body to be in a metabolic state known as ketosis, where stored fats for fuel are burned. Carbohydrates serve as our body's fuel; this is where we derive our energy. A body in ketosis is acquiring energy from ketones; in this state, the body is less hungry and the person is least likely to crave for food but it also puts the body at higher risk for organ failure resulting to kidney stones, kidney failure and gout. Since ketones work to dull a person's appetite, a person in ketosis can be susceptible to nausea and bad breath.

There are other health risks associated with a high protein low carbohydrate diet. High protein diets can also put you at risk for high cholesterol, which is in turn linked to increased risk for stroke, heart disease and cancer. Consuming large amounts of protein can cause the body to expel more calcium through urine and this can increase the risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis.

When we eat less carbohydrates, we may also deprive our body of its required dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibers since many fruits and vegetables are also high in carbohydrates. These nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of the systems running our body. Protein can still be obtained from diets that are rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. By adhering to this type of diet, one may still get the protein one needs while reducing one's risks for developing malnutrition syndromes and certain cancers.

Many dietitians have reservations about the long-term effects of a high protein low carbohydrate diet. Skeptics claim that high protein low carbohydrate diet can cause changes in the dieter's fat cells causing the accumulation of even more fats when the person stops the diet. This diet can also cause mood changes such as irritability and depression which often results in snacking and the craving for high carbohydrate content foods. With all these conflicting research results and studies on the high protein low carbohydrates diet it is impossible to form a clear opinion on its long-term benefits.

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