Diet Information
Low Carb Diets: Health Concerns and Possible Health Risks of Low Carb/High Protein Diets
Low Carb Diets Information

Low Carb Diets: Health Concerns

Diet Reviews and Information - Best Weight Loss Programs

Health Concerns Regarding Low Carb Diets

Here are a few health and nutrition concerns which have been highlighted in relation to possible adverse effects of a low-carbohydrate diet.

  • Depriving the body of carbohydrates can lead to a condition called ketosis; side effects of ketosis are weakness, nausea, dehydration and bad breath. The consequences could be serious for people with diabetes.
  • Much of the initial weight loss is down to loss of the body’s carbohydrate stores (glycogen) and fluid loss.
  • There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets have a metabolic advantage over more conventional diets for weight reduction. The bottom line is that if you eat fewer calories on this diet you will lose weight, just as you would with any diet that provides fewer calories than you would normally eat.
  • Cutting out carbohydrate could mean a low intake of vitamins and minerals. Scientists involved with the UK Diet Trials study advised subjects on the Atkins diet to take vitamin and mineral supplements as there was concern about the possibility of low intakes of some vitamins and minerals.
  • A high intake of fat and saturated fatty acids could lead to increased blood cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart disease although current evidence on cardiovascular risk for those on low-carbohydrate diets is equivocal and more research is needed. The authors of the recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine state:

    “it is… possible that the large amounts of saturated fats and small amounts of fruits, vegetables and fiber consumed during the low carbohydrate diet can independently increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Therefore at the present time, there is not enough information to determine whether the beneficial effects of the Atkins diet outweigh its potential adverse effects on the risk of coronary heart disease in obese persons.”

  • A low fiber intake can lead to constipation.
  • For those on a low carbohydrate diet, the excess protein intakes may cause calcium losses from the body, which could adversely affect bone health over the longer term.
  • In theory, a high protein diet could also put strain on the kidneys, which have to excrete the excess protein from the body. One study found, for example, that a high-protein, fat reduced intake, taken over six months, caused adaptive changes in renal size and function without indications of adverse effects. The UK Diet Trials study found no detrimental effects on kidney function over six months. More research is needed into the effects of the Atkins diet on long-term kidney function.
  • The American Heart Association (AHA) has highlighted concerns about the fact that this type of diet can “restrict healthful foods that provide essential nutrients and do not provide the variety of foods needed to adequately meet nutritional needs”. The AHA are also concerned about the potential risk of cardiac, kidney, bone and liver abnormalities as well.
  • Short-term studies to date have not highlighted any serious adverse effects, however the long term consequences on health are as yet unknown. Further, the safety of the Atkins diet for those with serious obesity-related diseases is also unknown. More research is certainly needed on this type of dietary regimen before firm recommendations can be made about its long-term safety and efficacy.
  • On the basis of current evidence, The British Dietetic Association would not recommend the Atkins diet as the best approach for healthy weight control.

Sources include: British Dietetic Association 2003

Related Low Carb Diet Links

Review of Dr Atkins Diet
Atkins Diet: Health Questions
Atkins Diet: Heart Health Warning
Atkins Diet: Long-Term Weight Loss
Atkins Diet: Kidneys & Osteoporosis
Review of South Beach Diet
Review of Zone Diet
No Carb or Very Low Carb Diets
High Protein Low Carb Diets May Not Be For You
Review of High Protein Low Carb Diets
High-Protein Diets Help Maintain Weight
Ketosis Explained
Ketogenic Diet Study
Carbs and Fat in Diet: Do Carbs Cause Obesity
Carbs, Diet Nutrition and Calories
Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Weight Loss and Calories
Calorie-Counting Versus Carb-Counting
Low-Carb Food Labels: 'Net' Carbs
Daily Carb-Intake Debate
Low Carb Diets: Health Concerns
Low Carb Diets: Diet Nutrition
Effect of Dietary Fat/Cholesterol Intake on Strokes
Diet-Fat and Heart Disease Study
Carbs, Diet and Cancer
High-Carb Obesity Diet: Liver Inflammation
What is the Glycemic Index
How is Glycemic Index Measured
Low GI Diet
Low GI Diet Meals
Low GI Diet Snacks
Low GI Diet Foods
Low GI Diet and Potatoes
GI of Bread, Potatoes, Rice and Pasta
What Affects Glycemic Index Values of Carbs
Carbs and the Glycemic Index
Glycemic Index and Weight Loss
Low Glycemic Index Diets and Weight Loss
Eat Low Glycemic Index Carbs for Breakfast

For the Best Low Carb Diet
See our Recommendations for Best Weight Loss Program



BEST DIET | Free Diet Plan | Diet Program to Lose Weight | How to Lose Weight | Calorie Needs | Weight Loss Advice | Free Diets - Special Conditions | Diet Questions | Diet Advice For Men | Best Online Diet Plan | Best Weight Loss Diet Plan | How to Lose Weight Fast | Do Diet Programs Work | Types of Weight Loss Programs | Diet Tips | Best Forum For Diet Support | New Diets and Dieting Articles | Obesity Advice | Weight Chart | Help to Lose Weight | Diet Pills Advice | Side Effects | Xenical Fat Blockers | Meridia Diet Pills | Do Weight Loss Pills Work | Laxatives to Lose Weight | Weight Management Guidelines | Surgery for Weight Loss | Health Risks | Gastric Bypass Diet | Eating Disorders | How to Stop Bingeing | Weight Loss & Exercise | Weight Loss After Pregnancy | Diet Recipes | Diet Newletter | Weight Loss Resources | Diet & Weight Loss Links


Reviews of Diets | Atkins Diet | Cabbage Soup Diet | Cider Vinegar Diet | Fad Diets | Food Combining | Grapefruit Diet | High Fiber Diets | Jenny Craig Diet | Low Calorie Diets | Low Fat Diets | Low GI Diet | Metabolic Typing Diet | Peanut Butter Diet | Scarsdale Diet | South Beach Diet | Sugar Busters | Three Hour Diet | Weight Watchers Diet | Zone Diet | Weight Loss Diet Reviews


Diets for ADD/ADHD | Alcohol & Dietary Health | Diet For Alcoholics | Arthritis Diet | Blood Pressure Diet | Bodybuilding Diet | BRAT Diet | Cancer Diet | Candida Diet | Cholesterol Lowering Diet | Constipation Diet | Crohn's Disease | DASH Diet | Detox Diet | Diabetic Diet Tips | Gluten Free Diet | Healthy Heart Diet | High Protein Diets | Hyperactivity Diet | Indian Diet | Irritable Bowel Diet | Lactose Intolerance | Lactose-Free Non-Dairy Calcium | Low Sodium Diet | Medical Diet | Mediterranean Diet | Menopause Diet | Migraine Dietary Advice | PMS Diet | Renal Diet | Smokers Diet | Vegetarian


Latest Dietary Guidelines | Healthy Diet | Diet For Children | Diet For Teens | Diet Nutrition Advice | Fat in Food | Best Fats | How Much Fat Needed | Guide to Glycemic Index | Guide to Glycemic Load | GI Per Food Serving | GI Values For Food Groups | Carbs & Glycemic Index | Low Carb Diets | Daily Carb Needs | How Much Fiber Needed | Folate Intake RDA | Calcium Intake RDA | Protein Intake RDA | Sugar Intake | Food Calorie Charts provides general information on healthy eating, special diets and weight loss programs, diet nutrition, diet pills and weight loss surgery. However no advice given here is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. For the sake of your health, always consult your doctor before making any significant dietary, nutritional or lifestyle changes. Copyright 2001-2018 Diet Information. All rights reserved.