Is a low carb diet effective for losing weight? Can it cause liver and kidney problems?
Hi, I am recently trying to lose weight via a low carb diet. But I heard that a low carb diet will:
- Deprive energy to our brain as the brain can only accept sugar as energy, and not protein and
- Cause excessive ketones to be formed, and in the long run cause liver/kidney problems.
Is it true? How can I lose weight through a low carb diet healthily? Thank you.
Thanks for the question. Dr Ethan has provided a great answer to your question and certainly diet plays a significant role in weight management or reduction.
Essentially, it’s a matter of balance. If you put more calories in than you expend, you will be in a positive balance and hence this is stored by the body for a rainy day.
In the past, when your ancestors had a less predictable supply of food, it meant that over the good times, they stored fat and in harder times, our body used these fat stores. Interestingly, ketones are a byproduct of fat breakdown and also a metabolite for the brain.
In terms of the low carb diet, much of the “carbs” that we consume are actually hidden. Even things that have been labelled as “low fat”...
Hi A – I’m gonna do a very annoying doctor thing and say that every diet has it’s own disadvantages and benefits.
However all things considered, I have chosen a low carb/relatively higher fat diet for myself after weighing the pros and cons, and also just for the fact that it suits my lifestyle and I genuinely like proteins more than carbs. I mean who wouldn’t choose a good steak over rice any day?
Disclaimer that what you’ve asked is probably in the territory of a nutritionist/dietician rather than a doctor, but I shall attempt to address your questions based on what I remember from med school and my sport medicine course a long time ago:
1. Deprive energy to brain as can only accept sugar as energy not protein
Yes, the brain cannot use proteins as...