Zero carb diet or no carb diet is an extreme form of the low carb diet. In this, all forms of carbs whether simple or complex is restricted. Is it healthy? Is it necessary?
Zero carb diet or no carb diet
Zero carb diet or no carb diet is a type of diet plan in which all forms of carbs are prohibited. This implies that the dieter should not have any simple or complex carbs. Thus, it is an extreme form of low carb diet plan. It is highly restrictive.
For weight management and for good health, dietitians and doctors advise people to limit the amounts of carbs taken with each meal. All simple carbs such as refined sugars are out. But one can consume complex carbs such as whole grains, starchy vegetables, and the like. Also natural sugars such as in fruits are okay.
But in no carb diet, even whole grains and fruits are discouraged. This could lead to health issues in the long run. Such severe carb restrictions are unnecessary.
What foods to eat and what to avoid in this diet?
In this diet, the dieter should eat no carbs. Carbs are present in whole grains, legumes, lentils, beans, milk, yoghurt, fruits, starchy vegetables, bread, pasta, and baked foods. So no carbs means avoiding these foods in diet.
The dieter can have proteins and fats. Hence he or she can take meat, chicken, eggs, fish, cheese, oil, and butter.
They can have nuts, seeds, non-starchy vegetables, and high fats foods such as coconuts and avocado. These have some carbs in them but they are also rich in dietary fiber. Net carbs or digestible carbs are total carbs minus the dietary fiber. Hence in nuts, seeds, green vegetables, the net carbs are less.
This no carbs diet resembles the ketogenic diet with some minor differences. One can have water and unsweetened and coffee in this diet plan.
Pros and cons
Reducing carbs promotes weight loss. And eating proteins and fats lowers your appetite and keeps you full for a longer time. Hence total calories intake in a day decreases. This too helps weight loss.
The weight loss on this diet is fast in first few days. This is because every gram of carbs holds 3 grams of water in it. Hence with no carbs, this water is absent and weight reduction is more.
Though there are no studies on health benefits of no carbs diets, studies on low carb and ketogenic diets have shown that they protect the heart. Moreover, they prevent high blood sugar spikes and are good for diabetics. They reduce belly fat and control blood pressure. They also decrease blood cholesterol levels and minimize chances of metabolic syndrome.
Read here: Plant based low carbs diet better in lowering risk of type 2 diabetes!
But this diet makes the person fatigued and energy less. It can cause constipation. Due to its highly restrictive nature, it could lead to other nutrients deficiency. Minerals and vitamin deficiencies might crop up and may be difficult to handle. The long term effects of this type of diet are less studied. It could precipitate eating problems. Moreover, it is not safe for kids, pregnant and lactating ladies.