Replace this bowl of linguini with shredded zucchini. Swap that pizza crust for cauliflower. These are just two examples of popular online food hacks for people looking to eat healthier foods. Many popular products recommend low-carbohydrate and high-protein living as a solution to weight and health problems. However, researchers have found that many people who embark on this breadless pursuit of health do so with only information from the Internet and very little medical guidance.
Susan Besser, MD, told Medical Daily that low-carb diets have no inherent dangers, but they can be difficult to follow. And while she agreed that a true low-carb diet might be good for someone with type 2 diabetes, getting into a drastic diet plan headfirst may not be the best idea. Dr. Better is a family doctor at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.
Low carb diet has many definitions
While these diets may help you lose weight, there are some limitations, and researchers at the University of Glasgow found that there are many different definitions of "low carb" among dieters. Cutting out the carbohydrates in starchy vegetables and fruits could actually cut out some good nutrients, they said.
"A low-carbohydrate diet can be a weight loss option for people with obesity if the diet suits their preferences, but a lack of professional guidance can put dieters at risk of nutritional insufficiency," said Dr. Chaitong Churuangsuk, who worked on the diet study. "Doctors play an important role and can initiate discussions with their patients, provide information about the benefits and risks of certain diets, and contact diet and weight management specialists." Dr. Churuangsuk shared his comments in a press release.
It's encouraging that people are trying to improve their food intake, but the low-carb jump alone might not be really good for your health. However, the researchers found that very few people spoke to a doctor about their changed eating habits. Mike Lean, MD, another researcher who worked on the study, stated, "The long-term medical and psychological consequences of being overweight destroy lives and families, especially for younger obese people and especially if they are at risk of diabetes." He had Concerns about low-carb foods, which he shared in the same press release: "Low carb diets have had a lot of hype from the media and celebrities, but they're no better than high carb diets. Their evidence is generally poor, and our previous research has found that low-carb diets are linked to some vitamin deficiencies, more diabetes, not less. "
Avoid the word "diet"
Dr. Better is not a fan of the word diet. "It generally implies a short-term solution," she said. "Anyone can lose weight by restricting the amount of calories they use (whatever method they use), (but) the trick is to keep the weight loss going, and if you play the yo-yo the way you eat, it stays that way Weight not off. " Dr. Better to prefer a change in lifestyle instead.
Of course, some people love a low-carb lifestyle. "I think some of us are physiologically inclined to metabolize food differently, but there are still no good clinical ways to evaluate this," said Dr. Better. For people who find a low-carb lifestyle easy to maintain and have discussed it with their doctor, this could be a viable option.
There is nothing wrong with a person making changes to improve their health, but adequate information and support is critical to making sure those changes are truly healthy.