Following a low carb diet has been proven time and again to be the most effective way to lose body fat quickly without compromising lean muscle. It also has a positive effect on blood sugar levels, can reduce high blood pressure, and generally gives its followers a better sense of well-being, with consistent energy levels, the ability to sleep better, and a reduction in appetite. There are however, a few myths about some negative effects relating to a low carb diet, which we hear time and again. Here we look at the truth behind these stories.
Myth #1 – Dr. Atkins died of obesity, due to complications caused by his own diet.
Dr. Robert Atkins, considered the father of the mainstream low carb diet, actually died in hospital as a result of a head injury he sustained because of a fall. He was a healthy weight, too – he gained a lot of fluid while he was intensive care, which caused him to look bloated, but he was not fat. His death was therefore the result of a tragic accident, and had nothing to do with the low carb diet he followed and wrote about. He had a lot of success treating overweight heart patients with his diet, which is what prompted him to publish it.
Myth #2 – The high fat content causes heart attacks.
If somebody is eating a diet full of carbs as well as a lot of fat, that fat gets stored in the body, clogging arteries and increasing the body fat ratio, which is incredibly unhealthy and can lead to heart attacks (as well as many other complications). For somebody who is in ketosis, both body fat and dietary fat are used as the body’s primary fuel source, and are not stored. This means they don’t cause the same damage they do if your body is fueled by glycogen.
Myth #3 – A low carb diet is bad for your kidneys.
The origin of this myth is that when somebody has kidney problems, they are usually advised to eat a low protein diet, and people tend to incorrectly believe that a low carb diet is extremely high in protein. This is not actually the case, the proportion of protein in a low carb diet is similar to that in a normal or low fat diet. The low carb diet is high fat, but not necessarily high protein.