Is a diet that eliminates carbohydrates healthy?

Several popular diets emphasize eating low amounts of carbohydrates in order to lose weight. Individuals who follow these diets typically eat about half of the recommended servings of carbohydrates and instead consume proteins and fats.

While low carbohydrate diets can produce weight loss, studies show they usually result in regaining the weight lost since it was lost so quickly and in an unconventional manner. To avoid gaining back the weight, you should lose about one to two pounds a week on average simply by limiting calorie intake.

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Many fad diets claim that cutting out an entire food group will help people lose weight. This is just not true. A well-balanced diet contains foods from each of the five food groups. Every food group contains essential nutrients that are body needs to live. So, by eating all types of foods, we get the benefits of all types of nutrients, not to mention yummy flavors. The five food groups are vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.

Maintaining a healthy weight should be enjoyable! Not restrictive.

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Carbohydrates are needed for energy. They are the fuel that runs the body. Eliminating carbohydrates can be healthy if you eliminate the "bad" carbs and keep some "good" ones.Bad carbs are ones made from processed flours, refined, sugars, and trans fats. These carbs break down quickly into sugar and cause a quick rise in blood sugar. Good carbs are more complex carbs and contain fiber and breakdown slowly. Fruits and vegetables contain carbs too. If you eliminate all carbs from your diet you will be missing out on many nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, and low fat sources of food.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.