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Carbohydrates have been the center of numerous dietary debates. Many celebrities follow low-carb diets such as the ketogenic diet or the Atkins diet. Some use these diets for weight loss or other health reasons. Here are a few celebrities who have reportedly followed low-carb diets:
- Kim Kardashian: The reality TV star followed the ketogenic diet, a very low-carb, high-fat diet, to help with weight loss after her pregnancies.
- Halle Berry: The actress has Type 2 Diabetes and has publicly advocated for the ketogenic diet, claiming it helps her manage her blood sugar levels.
- LeBron James: The basketball superstar reportedly went on a low-carb diet in 2014 to lose weight and improve his performance.
- Gwyneth Paltrow: The actress and founder of lifestyle brand Goop has been known to promote various diets, some of which have been low-carb.
- Megan Fox: The actress reportedly follows a strict low-carb diet to help maintain her physique.
- Tim Tebow: The former NFL player is known to follow a ketogenic diet.
- Kourtney Kardashian: Another member of the Kardashian family, Kourtney has also been known to follow a ketogenic diet.
Though low-carb or keto diets have gained popularity, it’s crucial to remember that carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source. Under-consuming can lead to numerous health issues. Here, we will discuss the signs that may indicate you are not eating enough carbs and why some people may choose to limit their carb intake. We will also discuss the recommended carbohydrate intake for men and women.
Signs of Carbohydrate Deficiency
- Fatigue and Low Energy Levels: Since carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source, not consuming enough may lead to constant fatigue and low energy levels.
- Difficulties in Concentration: Carbs play a vital role in brain function. They’re essential for keeping your memory sharp and ensuring clear thinking. Not eating enough carbohydrates could lead to difficulties in concentration and poor cognitive function.
- Mood Swings: Carbohydrates promote the production of serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter. Lower carb intake may result in mood swings, irritability, and even depression.
- Frequent Hunger: If you constantly feel hungry, it could be because you are not consuming enough carbs. Carbohydrates provide a feeling of fullness and satisfaction, preventing overeating.
- Constipation: Dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate, aids in digestive health. A lack of fiber can lead to digestive issues like constipation.
- Poor Workout Performance: Carbohydrates are vital for athletic performance as they fuel your muscles. A decrease in physical performance during workouts might indicate inadequate carb consumption.
Low-Carb Diets and Hormone Levels
A low-carb diet can have an impact on certain hormone levels in your body, especially if the diet is very restrictive, or if it’s followed for a long period of time without proper nutritional balance. Some of the hormones that might be affected include:
- Insulin: Low-carb diets can lower insulin levels, which can be beneficial for people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
- Cortisol: There is some evidence suggesting that very low-carb diets can increase cortisol levels, a hormone related to stress. High cortisol levels over time can lead to various health problems.
- Thyroid hormones: Some research indicates that very low-carb diets can affect thyroid function, potentially leading to decreased levels of the thyroid hormone T3. This hormone helps regulate metabolism, and lower levels can lead to symptoms like fatigue and weight gain.
- Leptin and Ghrelin: These are hormones related to hunger and satiety. While initial stages of a low-carb diet may decrease levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone), over time this effect may fade. On the other hand, long-term low-carb dieting can also lower leptin levels, which can increase feelings of hunger.
- Sex Hormones: Severe carb restriction can impact sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. In women, this might result in irregular menstrual cycles or amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). In men, it could potentially lead to decreased libido and other symptoms of low testosterone. Some studies suggest that low-carbohydrate diets can result in decreased testosterone levels. This is believed to occur because carbohydrates help to regulate the hormone insulin, which plays a role in the production of testosterone. Furthermore, carbohydrates are also important for providing the energy needed for resistance and high-intensity interval training exercises, both of which are known to boost testosterone levels. However, this doesn’t mean that a high carbohydrate diet is necessarily better for testosterone production. Rather, a balanced diet that includes an appropriate mix of macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fats – along with regular exercise and sufficient sleep, tends to support overall health and hormone production, including testosterone.
Why Some People Choose to Limit Carbohydrate Intake
While the signs of not eating enough carbs are clear, some individuals choose to limit their carbohydrate intake deliberately. This decision can stem from various reasons:
- Weight Loss: Low-carb diets such as the ketogenic diet have been associated with weight loss. They cause the body to burn stored fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss.
- Blood Sugar Control: Reducing carbohydrate intake can help manage and prevent diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels stable.
- Neurological Disorders: Some studies suggest that low-carb or ketogenic diets may help manage neurological disorders like epilepsy.
Recommended Carbohydrate Intake
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 45-65% of their total daily calories from carbohydrates. This percentage equates to about 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates per day based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
However, the optimal amount can vary depending on several factors such as age, gender, physical activity level, and overall health.
- For men, the average recommendation is about 250-300 grams per day.
- For women, it’s slightly lower, around 180-230 grams per day.
These recommendations ensure that you consume enough carbohydrates to support your daily energy needs, while also promoting overall health.
The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. The content presented on this website should be considered solely as opinions and personal experiences. Read more