If you’re following low carb diets like keto, you have probably come across the “no carb diet”. Also called the zero carb diet, it’s the type of diet that will not allow you to eat any carbs.
Related reading: Is A Zero Carb Diet Good For Weight Loss?
While the keto diet limits your carb consumption to less than 50 grams per day, the no carb diet requires you to eat zero carbs, which means that you should avoid anything with carbs, from baked goods to starchy vegetables.
But, is this diet good for you? Read on to learn more about this very restrictive diet and see if it’s good for you.
What Is a No Carb Diet?
Generally, this diet involves cutting all carb containing foods from your diet. Carbs are our body’s main energy source and are found in bread, baked goods, beans, starchy vegetables, grains, and fruits.
Someone on a no carb diet should avoid eating these foods and instead eat only foods that contain proteins or fat, such as meats and eggs.
According to Tamsin Jordan, a registered dietitian from New York who specialize in women’s health,
“This is the most extreme version of other well-known carb-cutting diets such as the Atkins diet and keto.”
Some people who are less concerned with being so strict will eat nuts and seeds, high-fat fruits like avocado and coconut, and non-starchy veg and leafy greens. These foods are very low in carbs but not strictly no carb.
Unlike the keto diet, which limits your carb intake to less than 50 grams per day, the no carb diet should not have any carbs at all. It’s much more restrictive compared to keto and other low carb diets.
Can The No Carb Diet Help you Lose Weight?
The main goal of low carb diets like keto is to put your body into the ketosis state to start losing weight. You will also experience the same thing with a diet containing zero carbs By eliminating carbs from your diet, you will begin to lose weight.
Related reading: Best Fats to Eat on a Low Carb Diet
In addition, diets that restrict carbs promote rapid weight loss during the first few weeks of being on this diet due to a quick drop in water weight.
That’s because every gram of carbs contains about three grams of water in your body. So, if you eliminate carbs, you’ll also be shedding a lot of water weight.
A study done on 79 obese adults over six months has found that those who restricted their carb intake to less than 30 grams per day lost about 8.8 pounds more weight than those who have restricted their fat consumption.
With this study in mind, it’s safe to say that following a no carb diet will likely result in weight loss.
Why It May Not Be Good For You
Sure, the diet can help you lose weight and may come with other health benefits, too, but it may not be good for you.
Losing weight does not necessarily require such extreme carb limits. In fact, not eating any carbs may come with negative side effects that could affect your overall health.
You will miss out on important nutrients
Cutting carbs severely could reduce your intake of many key nutrients found in some foods. A no carb diet is devoid in fruits and vegetables, which means you may be missing out on important nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, and fiber.
These nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of our bodies. For instance, not getting enough fiber could alter the gut microbiome, and you could experience symptoms like constipation, irregular bowel movement, and blood sugar fluctuations.
No supplements can replace the many health-protective nutrients that you could miss out on if you eliminate carbs in your body. This can affect your immune system functioning and put you at risk of chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and other health diseases.
You could suffer from low carb flu
If you are following the keto diet, you have probably heard about the keto flu. This happens during the initial stage of your diet, where you could suffer from symptoms like nausea, dizziness, irritability, and headaches, among others.
Eliminating carbs from your diet could worsen these symptoms. Keto flu happens because your brain, which usually uses up to 60% of the carbs we eat, has to adjust to a different fuel source once you start to eliminate carbs and eat more fats.
Carb avoidance can result in poor digestive health
Aside from altering the gut microbiome, insufficient fiber can also lead to poor digestive health. The daily recommended intake of fiber is at least 25 grams per day, and fiber can only be found in foods that contain carbohydrates. So, if you follow the no carb diet, you won’t be getting enough fiber.
Related reading: Fiber on Keto – Why Is It So Important?
A diet with high fiber could lower your risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Certain types of fiber will also act as prebiotics, which feeds the gut bacteria leading to better immunity, anti-inflammation, and improved mental health.
While fiber supplements are available, they cannot provide the same benefits as the fiber derived from eating whole foods.
Could Put You At Risk for Developing Heart Diseases and Cancer
With a no carb diet, you will be getting your calories from mostly fats and protein instead of carbs. The diet is essentially a carnivore diet.
Related reading: Is The Carnivore Diet Better than Keto for Weight Loss?
There is a lot of controversy over whether or not the higher amount of saturated fat could increase your LDL cholesterol. According to Dr Shawn Baker, the carnivore diet guru, in the majority of people it doesn’t.
It can depend on the type of meat you eat. Organic, grass-fed meat contains much less saturated fat than intensively reared meat. The omega 6 to 3 ratio is entirely different too.
What’s more, several different types of processed meats, such as bacon and luncheon meats, are loaded with sodium that has been linked to certain types of cancer. Also, a diet that’s high in sodium could lead to high blood pressure and kidney problems.
A no carb diet is not necessary for achieving weight loss or optimal health. In fact, you can benefit more if you add whole and fiber-rich foods into your diet.
Even though these foods contain some carbs, they only have a minimal amount of digestible carbs or net carbs. Low carb diets like keto are better than no carb diet. They are not as restrictive, allowing you to include fiber-rich foods into your diet, which comes with many health benefits.