Many people choose to follow a low carbohydrate diet and achieve good results. At the same time, negative effects occur in some dieters, mainly linked to ketones. Ketones represent a compound and a waste product when the body burns down fat deposits. In a ketosis state, the body breaks down more fat tissue in the absence of carbohydrates. Most often, ketosis is linked to a higher level of ketones in the blood stream.
Bad breath is a mild side effect of being on a low carb diet. The ketones produced by the body are found in the urine and saliva. One solution to bad breath is to chew sugar-free gums or suck mints, but that is a temporary fix. Drinking lots of water helps sometimes.
Other mild negative effects include dizziness, nausea, weakness, and insomnia. A study published in the Lancet Medical Journal has reported that side effects such as headaches, constipation, diarrhea, and muscle weakness are more common in people on the Atkins diet than in other dieters.
Carbohydrate deficiency has been associated with general weakness and muscle cramps. The muscle tissue and the brain do not receive sufficient amounts of sugar to maintain their normal functioningThe brain and muscle tissue receive insufficient amount of sugar for their proper functioning. In general, an intake of about 150 grams of carbohydrates a day is required to maintain the normal functioning of the body. With many low carb diets, the amount of carbohydrates is limited to twenty to thirty grams during the induction phase. In the next phases, it increases to up to 100 grams, but this amount is still less than the required.
The body supplies the needed carbohydrates from the liver and muscles at first, but side effects may occur.
Some dieters may experience long-term negative effects, including feeling sluggish, tired, and lethargic. These side effects gradually disappear when dieters start consuming more carbohydrates.
The average dieter may find it difficult to cut out carbohydrates completely, even during the induction phase which lasts just several weeks. Low carb dieting remains a controversial issue not only because of the possible side effects, but when it comes to results. Some claim that success may be due to consuming less food rather than the products included in the menu. Other critics point out that weight loss may be due to dehydration rather than burning of fat tissue.
Some maintain that due to the accumulation of ketones in the body, the risk of high cholesterol level and heart disease increases. At the same time, many dieters have succeeded losing weight on a low carb diet. More people have tried a low carb diet, compared to a low fat diet. Many research studies confirm the benefits of low carbohydrate diets as well. When choosing a diet, it is important to assess the benefits and risks that go with it. The aim of every diet should be not simply weight loss but lifestyle change.