Are Low Carb Diets Dangerous?

This is a tricky one… the answer is it depends.

There are a couple different types of low carb diets, and most of them differ in the amount of carbs they allow you to consume in a day:

  • Atkins Diet – allows 20g Carbs
  • Ketogenic Diet – allows 50g Carbs
  • Low Carb Diet – allows 100g of carbs

Low carb diets are commonly successful for weight loss because the average dinner plate in western society is typically half carbs, if not more. So to limit the average consumers intake of carbohydrates can definitely lower their total caloric intake. By lowering to carbohydrate intake, you also lower your chances of having high blood pressure (hypertension) and potentially diabetes.

But it can be potentially dangerous, when the body does not consume carbohydrates, it starts to produce ketones. Ketones are a fuel source for the body that is ONLY produce in the absence of carbs, and are only one of two sources of energy for the brain. The brain can only use glucose (carbs) or ketones as a fuel source, and that’s why the body has the ability to create ketones but only in the absence of carbs because ketones can potentially be toxic.

True story, ketosis is definitely a real thing. Ketosis is when the body produces too many ketones and raises the pH level within the body to deathly high levels, and it can potentially kill you. HOWEVER, this can only happen to diabetics. In the properly functioning body, the pancreas can produce insulin at an efficient enough rate that it will counteract the pH spike that ketones create.

To Conclude… Now remember, I am not a Registered Dietitian, I just really enjoy reading academic journals… you read that right, I really enjoy them. 

Low carb diets are a great tool because of the over-indulgence in carbohydrates in the average Western diet. Low Carb Diets CAN be dangerous to Diabetics because of the inability to regularly produce insulin. The production of insulin is imperative to keep the pH levels within the body regulated with the increased production of ketones.

If you are interested in this topic and want to do more research, I highly suggest looking at different studies on Google Scholar or the JISSN:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s