Carbohydrates are great villains for some and indispensable allies in the diet of others. Let’s understand what these nutrients are and what a no-carb diet is.
First Of All, What Are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are molecules that can act with an energetic or structural function. Our focus with this text is only on the energy issue, which will be related to physical fitness and health.
They are called energy drinks because they are used as fuel by our body during physical activities, during the daily routine, to maintain vital functions, and even by the nervous system, for example, which uses only glucose (one of the many forms of carbohydrate ) as energy for its operation.
The supply of energy can be immediate through blood glucose or energy storage in the form of muscle and liver glycogen.
Is Carbohydrate Sugar?
Carbohydrates are often mistakenly called “sugar”; therefore, there may be an inappropriate association between food sources of carbohydrates and “table sugar,” called sucrose.
Carbohydrates are a large family of molecules that differ from each other. This difference is reflected in how our body metabolizes them; it reflects in our body’s responses after consuming various carbohydrate food sources.
Types Of Carbohydrates
Some carbohydrates digest quickly and provide energy immediately, generating a response that allows the body to turn them into fat more efficiently.
But there are also slowly digested carbohydrates ( healthy carbohydrates ), which produce different responses, not stimulating the transformation of consumed food into body fat with such intensity.
The fact is that this nutrient’s lousy reputation is only because people need to learn how to control its intake, generating unwanted physical shape and health problems.
Are There Foods Without Carbohydrates?
There are almost no carbohydrate-free foods, except oils, meats, eggs, fish, and some seafood, and for this reason, a carbohydrate-free diet for a long time is impossible for an average person.
Even if a diet without carbohydrates were practiced, this would bring a series of health complications, such as lack of vitamins and minerals, dysregulation of HDL lipoproteins, LDL, VLDL, and heart diseases, among many others.
For this reason, a diet without carbohydrates does not work; it is not healthy and should not even be considered. A diet without carbohydrates would not have vegetables, fruits, vegetables, dairy products… Impossible.
Imagine the menu of a one-week diet without carbohydrates, which would be based on chicken, fish, some seafood, red meat, pork, eggs, vegetable oils, and animal fats in general.
What Are The Risks Of The No-Carb Diet?
From the point of view of “energy supply,” we would not need carbohydrates, as we can find such energy in proteins and fats; the problem is that the vast majority of nutrients – vitamins, minerals, fibers, and bioactive – are only found in plant foods.
For this reason, deficient carbohydrate diets and no carbohydrate diets are not healthy. They can only be performed with nutritional guidance, as the fewer healthy food sources of carbohydrates in the diet, the greater the chances of nutritional deficiency.
How Does The No-Carb Diet Work?
A diet without carbohydrates may have fats and proteins; these will be the nutrients that supply calories, the energy sources.
However, as the name says, a diet without carbohydrates cannot have foods that provide such nutrients.
Belonging to this class of foods, we can mention items that are very present in the diet, such as vegetables, fruits, vegetables, legumes (bean family), bread, and pasta, among others.
Low Carb Diet vs. Low Carbohydrate Diet
We cannot fail to mention that some people still confuse a low-carb diet with a no-carb diet – a “low-carb diet” is not the same as a “no-carb diet.”
Imagine how monotonous a diet without vegetables can be. As much as an individual can consume a diet without carbohydrates due to its palatability, nutritional deficiencies will be installed quickly.
Low-, very low, and no-carb diets are most often sought after by people who want to lose weight.
One of the most significant risks of making restrictions without control or professional guidance is the opposite effect; in many cases, consumers of a diet without carbohydrates develop food compulsion, ultimately acting against the weight reduction objective.
Low Carb Diet And Low Carb Diet
But there are diets with low carbohydrate content, the so-called low carb diets, the latter also called ketogenic diets, which can be applied in clinical practice in treating diseases and sports. Recent research has found an improvement in sports performance in some cases.
The fact is that there are several ways to control carbohydrate intake, either by concentration related to the number of calories ingested throughout the day or by programming different carbohydrate loads for each day of the week according to the physical training plan.