Are low carb diets safe? How safe is Atkins diet? Are low carb and Atkins diets dangerous to your health? These are burning questions for dieters all over the world.
I have personally tried low carb diets and Atkins diet and these diets made me lose weight very quickly. However not only did I lose body fat weight, I also lost muscle weight. I had very obvious muscle and fat loss because I can visually see my reduced muscle mass in the mirror.
This certainly isn’t healthy. Furthermore, the more muscle mass that you lose, the less toned your body shape is. The end result is that you will end up thin and yet looked flabby with lose skin.
The frustrating part will be that after you are off the low carb or Atkins diet, you will very probably gain back all the weight that you have loss and even more. This is because your muscles are active and they continuously burn calories. Since you have less fewer muscle mass now, your body’s metabolism or capacity to burn calories slows down tremendously.
In other words, when you put on weight again, you are putting on body fat instead of muscles if you do not exercise. You will be fatter and less healthy than before you went on the low carb or Atkins diet. To compound matters, because of lesser muscle tissues resulting in lower metabolism and thus lesser calories being burnt, you are going to get fatter.
Since then I have stayed off both low carb and Atkins diet. Both types of diets are almost similar as they require you to cut down drastically on your consumption of carbohydrates. Atkins diet went a step further by advocating almost no carbohydrate consumption for 2 weeks before adding some carbs to your meals gradually thereafter.
Besides losing muscles, how safe are low carb diets? This is what Dr Lyn Steffen and Dr Jennifer Nettleton from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health commentated in a Lancet report, “Low carbohydrate diets for weight management are far from healthy, given their association with ketosis, constipation or diarrhea, halitosis, headache and general fatigue to name a few.”
The doctors warned that the diet increases protein load on the kidneys and alters the balance of acid in the body. This also results in loss of minerals from the bone stores and affect bone strength. The doctors went on to say that, “Our most important criterion should be indisputable safety and low carbohydrate diets currently fall short of this benchmark.”
Dr Atkins, the creator of the Atkins diet died in 2003 after he was alleged to have slipped on an icy road and hurt his head fatally. However his medical report stated that he had a history of heart attack, hypertension and congestive heart failure.
Were Dr Atkins medical conditions related to his low carbohydrates diet is anybody’s guess. Do you want to take the risk by going on a low carb diet? I don’t think I will. If I ever want to lose weight again, I will rather go on the proven method of healthy eating and regular exercises instead of jumping on any fad diets.