Low-Carb Diets: Facts and Fiction


A lot of rumors exist about low-carb diets. While millions of people swear by them, others swear they are nothing but harmful. It’s true—low-carb diets can pose nutrition issues if not followed correctly. However, this is not their aim. These diets intend for their followers to get back to the basics of healthy eating without too much processed junk.

The Myths

Many people believe that a low-carb diet means no carbs. On the contrary, no low-carb diet prohibits dieters from consuming carbohydrates – that could actually be harmful. The amount of carbs a person consumes depends entirely upon the individual.

The average diet should be comprised of 45% to 65% carbohydrates. If you are unsure of how many carbs you should be eating, discuss it with your doctor or a nutritionist.

Opponents of low-carb diets sometimes think those who follow the diet cannot consume fruits or veggies since both are primarily carbohydrate-based. However, this is only true for starchy vegetables. Non-starch vegetables are fairly low in carbs, and they even replace grains in most low-carb diets. If a person following a low-carb diet was to avoid all vegetables, he or she would be missing out on a large and important component of the diet.

Some people also believe that low-carb diets can instigate heart disease. However, studies have shown that the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol decrease do not increase significantly for someone who eats less carbs.

Another common myth regarding low-carb diets is they do not provide adequate amounts of fiber. However, many low-carb foods are very high in fiber.

The Truth

Mixed in with all the fiction are plenty of facts; however, they are much more difficult to discern. Here are some low-carb truths you can believe.

Low-Carb Diets & Fiber

Many low sugar fruits and non-starch vegetables are actually high in fiber. The trick is figuring out a diet that includes enough of these foods. Most Americans do not consume nearly enough fiber. Fiber is important; it plays an integral role in regular bowel movements and a healthy heart.

It is recommended that adults consume between 25 and 40 grams of fiber a day. You can find your fiber in the following sources (and many others):

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Bok choy
  • Zucchini
  • Artichokes
  • Pumpkin
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Onions
  • Carrots

Most of the vegetables we eat on a regular basis are fairly low in carbs. You can also find plenty of fiber in certain bran cereals; be sure to check the box for carbs per serving.

Low-Carb Diets & Cholesterol

One study has found that low-carb diets significantly lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Although a low-carb diet can certainly help someone who is overweight, it is not just for those looking to lose weight. A low-carb diet can benefit anyone with high blood pressure or risk factors related to diabetes.

There are many things that people do not know about low-carb diets. The opinions we hear from someone who tried it for a couple days varies greatly from what the actual diet recommends. It can be a healthy and easy way to live as long as you are well-informed. Speak with a nutritionist and do enough research to be sure you can thrive on a low-carb diet.

About the author: Mayra Funes is a firm believer in low-carb diets. In addition to her healthy eating habits, she also uses vitamin injections to aid her weight loss efforts.


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