7 Signs That You Need to Be Eating More Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates provide more than half of total daily calories for most Americans, supplying the body with usable energy and contributing to heart, digestive, and brain health. Limiting its consumption and following a low-carb diet can help facilitate weight loss, though the story is not solely glamorized to one side... Alas, reducing carb intake can lead to these seven unpleasant side effects.
What Happens If You Don't Eat Enough Carbs
1. Plummeted Energy
Like a car running on gasoline, the body is mostly driven by a constant flow of glucose, naturally found in carb products and stored as glycogen for backup. Lowering or cutting out carbs can deplete the glucose supply, put the breaks on, and plummet energy levels.
Giving up those beloved carbs can cause you to feel "hangry", particularly when first cutting down its intake. And considering all the sugar comprising an Americanized diet, forking up the comforts of chocolate chip cookies and pizza may cause individuals to feel moody and irritable.
3. Brain Fog
Glucose from carbohydrate sources is the brain's preferred source of energy. Especially when initially reducing its intake, the brain may feel the consequences and experience brain fog, or fatigue of the brain that may spark mental confusion and a lack of focus.
Since muscles, the heart and brain are reliant on glucose for energy, removing carbs forces the body to use fat as energy, also known as ketosis. When initiating a low-carb diet and transitioning over to a ketogenic state, headaches are a common complain.
5. Ketosis Breath
Ketosis produces ketones from body fat to supply the body with usable energy. Unfortunately, ketones may cause bad breath, which bares a sweet and "fruity" smelling odor.
Not only do carb sources supply glucose, but that notorious fiber we hear about regarding digestive health. Lowering the intake of carb sources in the form of plants can naturally lower fiber and increase the risk of constipation.
7. Nutritional Deficiencies
Following a long-term, low-carb diet poses the risk of nutritional deficiencies. From vitamin A found in sweet potatoes to the B vitamins found in whole grains, carb sources are loaded with vitamins and minerals necessary for vital body processes.
Making Carbs Count
Ultimately, the general population should aim to reduce refined carbs and focus more attention on carbs in their whole form. Individuals are advised to limit white breads and pastas, pastries, and candies and select naturally-occurring carbs found in whole grains and legumes, fruits and veggies, and milk and dairy products that offer fiber and other valuable nutrients. Meals should be balanced with non-starchy veggies, lean protein, and a healthy fat, along with being accompanied by a portioned complex carb such as quinoa, rice, or a sweet potato.
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