Should I Try a low carb diet?

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These days, it seems like everyone and their dog is labelling their diet; paleo, keto, pescetarian, gluten-free, vegan, the list goes on… The nutrition world is filled with so much noise, with so many strong opinions, “quick fixes,” conflicting research, and products.

The War on Carbs

Lately, carbs have been labelled as the enemy, with lowcarb and no-carb diets becoming incredibly popular. On the extreme end, the ketogenic diet limits carbohydrates so much (less than 20g per day) that the body turns to fat at its primary energy source. Sugar is being shunned too, but not just the processed kind found in junk food and sweets, the kind found in fruits and even some vegetables! Many have claimed that the sugar found in a chocolate bar is no different than the sugar found in an apple, so they should be treated equally (hint: not true, at all). Some diets encourage a low intake of carbs, and a high intake of protein or a high intake of fat. There are several types of these diets, but today, I’ll focus on general low carb diets.


Any type of low carb diet forces you to cut out a large amount of foods. You’ll say no to the obvious sources like pasta, bread, and soda, as well as the healthier sources such as fruit, potatoes, oats, rice, quinoa, and more. Cutting these out not only restricts the amount of nutrition you can receive from them (potatoes are surprisingly nutritious and healthy), but you’re also restricting what you can eat. This type of restriction is usually difficult to maintain, making meal choices limited. This leads to an unhealthy relationship with food, as you may feel strong cravings for foods you miss, but feel as though you can never have them without gaining weight.

Health vs Weight Loss

Instead of focusing only on the weight that you want to lose immediately, remember to think about how you want to feel in 10, 20, or even 30 years.

These types of diets don’t necessarily encourage good health, especially long-term health. For example, the ketogenic diet yields rapid weight loss results, but discourages eating almost all fruit, some of the most important foods on the planet.Social media has heavily promoted the ketogenic diet as being a pass to eat as much cheese, butter, and bacon as one would like – all foods that can cause a variety health issues down the road. Of course, there are “healthier” ways to go about the keto diet, but even the healthiest form of the diet can still cause hormone shifts, liver, gallbladder, and kidney issues, and more. Some diets were designed for very specific health reasons, such as the gluten-free or dairyfree diet, where people cannot properly digest these foods. In these instances, cutting out those foods is not only wise but is necessary, and can certainly lead to better health in many people.


Before resorting to extreme and potentially unhealthy measures such as a low carb diet or the ketogenic diet, spend some time considering what other areas of your diet require cleaning up, such as eliminating processed foods, reducing portion sizes, or cutting out alcohol. Have reasonable expectations and understand that weight loss happens over time, not overnight. You can and will get the results that you want, as long as you take care of your health along the way