Two common New Year resolutions are to lose weight and exercise more. To get the fastest results in the shortest time, the use of fad diets spike. Most fad diets require low carbohydrates, and higher protein and fats. But is going cold turkey on carbs the right way to go? The signs indicate a low or no carb diet can cause long-term harm.
The benefits of a carb healthy diet
Over the years, carbohydrates have got a bad reputation. Good carbs like fiber and starch are essential for overall health and wellness. Carbs are not only a main energy source. The high vitamins in carbs regulate blood sugar, cholesterol, digestion, and weight. Dieters reducing carbs can suffer from a deficiency in the following four vitamins.
1. Gimme a B!
Got a jolt of energy after a healthy meal? Vitamin B12 could be responsible. The complex vitamin handles DNA creation, healthy blood vessels and turning food into energy. Fortified cereals and breads, absent in low carb diets, contain lots of B12. A lack of B12 causes anemia, fatigue, constipation, muscle weakness and a host of uncomfortable ailments.
2. Carbs and sunshine, providing the D
The sun is not the only vitamin D source around. Carbohydrate-rich foods like eggs, cereals, and oats support vitamin D production. Vitamin D manages minerals like phosphorus and helps with proper bone health. Low vitamin D also shows an increased risk of Alzheimer disease. So low carb diets may reduce vitamin D intake.
3. Preventing colds…with carbs?
Although the vitamin gained popularity with cold prevention, Vitamin C has several additional upsides. Vitamin C aids in healing wounds, providing antioxidants and preventing cell damage. The natural source comes from carb-rich foods like potatoes, mangoes, and bananas. A low carb diet can possibly cause a vitamin C deficiency.
4. Repair the cells with carbs
Though uncommon, vitamin E deficiencies are present in low carb diets. Vitamin E prevents tissue damage, organ damage, and repairs cells. Nuts, oils, and fruit like mangoes contain vitamin E and can be absent in low carb diets. A vitamin E deficiency can create muscle weakness and immune system issues.
Are supplements the solution?
For dieters deciding on a low carb option, the threat of vitamin deficiencies is clear. Dieters sometimes take a multivitamin or supplement. However, a supplement is in no way a replacement for nutrient dense food. Especially the vitamins and nutrients absent in a low carb diet.
Cutting carbs may not be the answer
Carbs get painted with a broad brush. However, carbs are not the same. Fibers and starches fall in the good carbohydrate family and contain essential vitamins. Losing weight should not come at the expense of a healthy body. Doctors or dietitians can provide a balanced plan to help with weight loss goals. Dieters will stay vitamin rich and healthy in the process.