In the fight against surplus kilos, the low-carbohydrate diet has been in the spotlight in recent years. Many swore and removed starch sources such as rice, potatoes and bananas from the daily diet. Unwise, according to international studies.
The popularity of the low-carbohydrate diet is demonstrated by a campaign by a number of general practitioners from Leende in Brabant. They urged their patients to eat as little carbohydrate as possible. On the one hand it is true that the lowest possible intake of sugar reduces the risk of overweight and diabetes.
But the low-carbohydrate diet also entails health risks. This is the conclusion drawn by Professor Fred Brouns from Maastricht University. A low-carbohydrate diet contains relatively little fiber and a high fat content. This has unfavorable influences on the intestinal flora.
Apart from that, Brouns states that a moderately altered dietary pattern in which you ingest at least 100 to 150 grams of carbohydrates can be better maintained. In the long term there are no proven benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet.
No low-carbohydrate diet
In addition to its own publication, Brouns has collaborated on an international study on nutritional guidelines . All researched countries and agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), recommend dietary guidelines to limit the intake of added sugars. However, none of them recommend to follow a low-carbohydrate diet.
Professor Brouns recommends reducing the intake of carbohydrates and increasing the intake of fats. A ratio in which both nutrients provide about 40 percent of the energy intake is, according to him, a healthy criterion. In the case of carbohydrate sources, it is also important that they contain a lot of fiber and unsaturated fat sources.
His most important advice in the fight against overweight and diabetes is to change several lifestyle factors simultaneously. Healthy diet must be accompanied by sufficient exercise, a moderation in the amount of food, smoking cessation and moderate alcohol consumption.