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What is a low-carb diet?

Diet fads come and diet fads go, but the low-carb diet has been around for some time. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to low-carb diets. When taken to extremes, they can be more detrimental to your health than beneficial. Here are some answers to common questions about low-carb diets.

What is a low-carb diet?

A low-carb diet is when you limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat daily. The recommendations are to consume between 45-65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. You should never fall below 45 percent without consulting your doctor or a nutrition professional. That said, when you follow a low-carb diet, you should be consuming approximately 45 percent of your calories from carbs.Körner,_Nüsse,_Mais by Marco Verch via wikicommons

Is a low-carb diet healthy?

It depends. If you follow a low-carb diet as I laid out above (approximate 45 percent of daily calories), it can be quite healthy. There are some people who take a low-carb diet to the extreme, however. Some lower their daily intake to 20 percent or less. I’ve talked to people who have cut back to 5 percent of their daily calories, and that is simply not good for you. Your body needs carbs to function properly. Without them, your health will start deteriorating instead of improving.

Will a low-carb diet help me lose weight?

It could. This depends on what else you’re eating. If you go on a low-carb diet, you have to make sure you’re getting enough calories without eating too many. If you are still eating excess protein or fat, you will have a hard time losing weight. Weight loss is a combination of healthy eating choices (calories in) versus movement (calories out). While there is more to it than that, that’s the gist of it.

Is gluten free the same as low carb?

While many people cut out a good deal of gluten in low-carb diets, they are not the same. A gluten-free diet is one in which you cut out wheat protein from your diet. You could still have gluten in your diet if you’re low-carb, and you could eat a gluten-free diet that is not low-carb.

Do you have more questions about low-carb diets or other nutrition-related concerns? I’m here to help!

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