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Isn't a low carb diet really bad for you?

47 replies

Conundrumish · 10/02/2010 16:17

I'm surprised to read on here that so many people are doing Atkins/other low carb diets - aren't they meant to be really bad for you?

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OrmRenewed · 10/02/2010 16:19

The people who say that are usually the ones who don't know much about it and don't do the diet properly.

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Chil1234 · 11/02/2010 11:50

If you're extremely obese then the the most dangerous thing for your health is to stay extremely obese. So, in that light, a low-carb diet may not be a bad option. But if you're just a few lbs overweight, you should be able to control your weight just as easily with a traditional calorie-controlled balanced diet and by increasing exercise done.

Truly 'low carb' (such as originally promoted by the Atkins group) has quite a few accepted risks which include lack of fibre & other nutritional deficiencies. Dieters were advised to take supplements and things like psyllium husks to combat the imbalances.

These days the more enlightened low-carbers don't try to eliminate all carbohydrates but instead consume carbohydrates in moderate amounts and choose the ones providing the best nutrition e.g. wholegrains, vegetables, fruit, pulses - rather than simple sugars and refined starches. Then it's healthy.

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Conundrumish · 11/02/2010 17:19

Thanks Chil. Doesn't having carbs in small amounts stop the ketosis though?

Also, I thougth it was the ketosis that can be so dangerous.

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sarah293 · 11/02/2010 17:22

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londonone · 11/02/2010 18:02

I do a low carb diet but I can have a fair few carbs i.e a bag of salad without going out of ketosis.

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sarah293 · 11/02/2010 18:35

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GettinTrimmer · 11/02/2010 19:09

Does it affect energy levels with low carbohydrates? Runners are advised to eat pasta the night before a race - without carbs would you have to restrict exercise?

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brimfull · 11/02/2010 19:15

I can stay in ketosis with about 50 grams of carbs a day but I wasn't losing weight at that level of carbs-have since reduced level to 10-20 g and losing weight.

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brimfull · 11/02/2010 19:16

GettinTrimmer- from what I've read you do need to eat some carbs prior to intensive exercise to replace the glycogen in the muscles or you'll have no energy.

Gentle exercise is fine though.

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brimfull · 11/02/2010 19:19

My cholesterol/ blood pressure and pulse all reduced on low carb diet.
GP was very impressed

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OrmRenewed · 11/02/2010 20:35

gettintrimmer - YES! It does Which is the only reason I am not going back to dietary home of lc. I always lose weight and I feel in control of my appetite. But I cannot run!

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PureAsTheColdDrivenSnow · 11/02/2010 20:42

I found I had a lot MORE energy on Atkins. i only did it for 3 months, lost a stone, felt brilliant.

I think ketosis is OK as long as you do it for a short period (less than 6 months) and eat plenty of vegetables and drink plenty of water). Too many people think that you can just eat eggs, meat and cheese and obviously that's not good for you. Tuna salad and mushrooms omlettes however...

Atkins has taught me a lot actually, and have almost completely cut out refined carbs (sugar/white bread etc). Weight didn't go back on when I stopped Atkins either as I'm doing low-carb rather than almost no carb (am definitely not in ketosis)

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OrmRenewed · 11/02/2010 20:49

pure - I agree you have more energy generally. I used to feel great. But as soon as I started to really demand a huge amount of energy - ie when I ran more than a mile or so - I used to feel so bad. It was supposed to go after a month or so but I never found that it did.

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PureAsTheColdDrivenSnow · 11/02/2010 20:59

hmm.. interesting.

I did the Davina DVD's almost every day while in ketosis - I felt brilliant
(waited until I was at least a week in, when it full ketosis and the weight was falling off me )

I was doing Atkins to the letter though

Can't do it atm (can't be arsed)

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simmo39 · 11/02/2010 21:27

I am on the Go Lower low carb diet and so far am very pleased with the results. I have only really done walking so far and was considering trying the Davina DVD as notice it is often recommended. But I don't want to increase my carbs to exercise as that will take me out of Ketosis....any other recommendations on what exercises I can do?

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PureAsTheColdDrivenSnow · 11/02/2010 21:38

Slimmo - try the Davina core-stability one (think it's on the power of 3 DVD

Very good at strengthening muscles, improving posture. did wonders for my stomach muscles. Also managed the Upper body one 3 x a week, and was excellent.

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bubble2bubble · 11/02/2010 22:14

how do you actually know if you're in ketosis? ( without blood tests )

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PureAsTheColdDrivenSnow · 11/02/2010 22:36

in my case -

  1. you don't feel hungry (to quote another MNer 'you know you're in ketosis when it's 2:30pm and you haven't had lunch yet'


  1. your wee smells different


  1. you have more energy (getting into ketosis is knackering, but once you're your body is burning fat, rather than glucose, you're over the worst and heading into ketosis)
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brimfull · 11/02/2010 22:38

bubble2bubble -you can buy ketostix to test your urine on ebay

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PureAsTheColdDrivenSnow · 11/02/2010 22:43

or you could do that

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sarah293 · 12/02/2010 08:01

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LaurieFairyCake · 12/02/2010 08:23

quick hijack - can you drink wine on low-carb diets?

I've forgotten it'a been nearly 10 years since i did one

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sarah293 · 12/02/2010 08:31

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PureAsTheColdDrivenSnow · 12/02/2010 08:37

a bottle of white wine has about 10g of carbs in it, red wine slightly more.

So yes, when not in induction.

clear spirits like gin or vodka, plus soda are zero carbs

this might help
www.atkins.com/Program/FourPhases/CarbCounter/Details19/Alcohol.aspx

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LaurieFairyCake · 12/02/2010 08:39

Thanks you two - looks like my glass of red wine won't hurt if I do decide to low-carb again (after induction of course)

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