What is low carb?
Eating low carb is simply defined as eating a diet lower in carbohydrates. Mark Sisson, of Mark’s Daily Apple, created a carbohydrate curve formula. It does a good job of illustrating problematic consumption levels as well as lower levels for fat loss. For more information about lower-carb eating check out Mark’s book, the Primal Blueprint. It was my first introduction into a healthful look at eating lower carb for blood sugar management (and weight loss).
Why go low carb?
There are many reasons to go low carb – fat loss, blood sugar management, inflammation management, and to get into ketosis for some intense healing. Each reason requires more explanation than a single page can provide. Limiting carbohydrates in some manner can be very helpful – depending on the person of course.
But won’t you um, die without enough carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are vitally necessary right? Well, yes and no. Reading through the paleo bloggosphere, it’s not uncommon to come across concerns about the healthfulness of low-carb diets. Laura Schoenfeld R,D. wrote an article for Chris Kresser’s site, postulating the idea that low-carb eating might not be a great idea for everyone. And I agree. Different strokes for different folks. It does appear as though some people need more carbohydrates to function properly. Your brain also requires some glucose to run. Though if given time it’s possible for it to start to run on ketones as well. As with any dietary change you should consult your doctor and pay close attention to your symptoms!
It should be noted that going low carb can result in something called the low-carb flu. It doesn’t happen to everyone and it is temporary. However, if your symptoms persist longer than a few weeks, you start loosing hair, or experiencing weight gain maybe you need to re- evaluate your carbohydrate needs. Basically, don’t be an idiot. Listen to your body and make note of improvements or problems.
Choose what’s right for you, duh.
Sometimes I feel like a broken record – everyone is different. I did well moving to a lower-carbohydrate diet – feeling best at 50 grams or less. Beyond feeling better, going low-carb also helped to lead to one diagnosis(SIBO) and hinted at another(hypothyroidism). Low-carb eating is a tool like any other, it’s there when you need it. If you don’t, that’s fantastic.