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What happens if I don't get enough Carbohydrate? How about the Atkins diet? Isn't that just fat and protein?

There will be a reduction in your blood sugar level causing you to become tired. All our cells NEED sugar to function properly. Without us providing it they will find it from other sources in the body. If we do not provide our body with carbs the body will look for other sources of energy, i.e. it will take from our lean muscle stores as well as our fat reserves. However this means the body has to letch away it's own body tissue in order to survive, not the best to look after our body.

When starved of carbohydrate the body's acidity levels increase, this means the body will look for a way of reducing the acidity level, so it will letch away the calcium in your bones to compensate for the increase in acidity. (Calcium is alkaline and will rebalance an acidic environment) The build up of keytone bodies in this way will result in smelly breath.

Reducing your carbohydrate intake and over compensating with protein will put a strain on your kidneys and liver which can lead to major organ stress. All the effects are negative, apart from the initial weight loss you first experience; this is because of the glycogen stores being depleted, but once you go back to eating normally the weight usually goes right back on. The long term effects are still being researched but the increase in the saturated fat content of the diet can also lead to heart disease.

It doesn't end there, Polysaccharides can be further split into 2 more groups, Starch and Non Starch Polysaccharides (NPS) otherwise known as Fibre. (Try to remember NSP as food labelling is changing and manufacturers are beginning to use NSP instead of fibre.