Low carb diets are quite popular among people who wish to lose weight. Whether it’s Keto, the Atkins diet, or the Paleo diet, low carb diets have been presented as a fast track solution for weight loss.
However, this doesn’t mean these diets are particularly good or even safe for your health. Here are a few side effects people following low carb diets tend to experience.
Lower Energy Levels
Individuals on low carb diets often experience what’s known as “low carb flu”. They experience a prolonged sense of tiredness, frequent headaches, nausea, brain fog, and even constipation. Excessive fatigue can also lead to irritability and restlessness.
Since carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source, cutting down your carb intake results in the body passing out salts and fluids. Your body gets dehydrated. Moreover, the limit on your starch intake also causes a fluctuation of your blood glucose level, which then causes your energy levels to slump. This is why individuals on low carb diets frequently feel lethargic and fatigued.
Lower Alcohol Tolerance
Another effect low carb diets have on your body is on its alcohol tolerance. According to research, limiting your carb intake can lower your alcohol tolerance. Studies have found that eating a high carb meal before drinking can help reduce your blood alcohol content.
By following a low carb diet, you no longer have this advantage. This is why people on low carb diets are advised to refrain from drinking or eating foods with alcohol, as they’re likely to feel the effects of alcohol more severely due to their decreased alcohol tolerance.
Decreased Thyroid Function
A low carb diet can also be dangerous for your thyroid health in the long run. Carbohydrates are crucial to thyroid function. When the body’s carb intake is reduced, there is a drop in the glycogen and glucose level in the liver. This affects the production of T3, a thyroid hormone responsible for cell growth and metabolism. A low carb diet essentially affects the thyroid from functioning optimally.
A drop in glycogen levels then leads to the secretion of cortisol and norepinephrine from the adrenal glands to regulate heart rate and body temperature. However, if this becomes the body’s primary method for energy production, it can result in organ stress, muscle loss, and impaired brain function.
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