Over the last decade, the Atkins Diet, generally referred to as low-carbohydrate or even a no-carbohydrate diet, has become very popular. The overall idea is to restrict carbohydrates in order to force the body to look for other sources of energy. Many people however have asked, how can this be healthy? Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to try the Atkins diet.
Glucose is the human brain required source of energy. Carbohydrates are the easiest type of food for the body to convert into glucose, however, too much will result in the excess calories being stored as fat. But what happens with carbohydrates are restricted?
The body is an amazing machine. It can take proteins and fats and convert them into glucose also. So when you restrict your carbohydrates on the Atkins diet, you essentially force your body to burn proteins and fats. That is why it is essential to eat fat on this diet.
You need to remember that too much protein can cause a buildup of free radicals called keytones, causing a condition called keytosis – or the condition where the body uses fat for fuel. This is a good thing as it is a sign that the body is burning fat as fuel. It is important that you drink plenty of water on the Atkins diet to help the kidneys flush the toxins from the body.
Ketoacidosis should not be confused with ketosis, which is one of the body's normal processes for the metabolism of body fat. In ketoacidosis, the accumulation of keto acids is so severe that the pH of the blood is substantially decreased. This is caused more from starvation rather than the type of food you eat.
Something to also think about when trying the Atkins diet is to make sure you get enough fiber. It is recommended you get the fiber in the form of a sugar free fiber supplement. Too much protein and fat can cause digestion difficulties.
Keep in mind also, that this is a lifestyle. In order to see results you must limit carbohydrates completely for the initial phase, and only eat a limited number of complex carbohydrates thereafter. It can get more boring, but if you can add exercise to the mix, you can let a few additional carbs creep back into your diet and still maintain the weight you want to.