THE MYTH: A Low-Carb Diet is Healthy


Rumours of ‘keto crotch’ (whiffy nether regions – see Reddit for deets) aren’t denting the minimal-carb ketogenic diet’s popularity. So, why have people so readily pied off butternut squash and sourdough? ‘Because low-carb diets initially help with weight loss, people think they’re healthier,’ says Helen West, registered dietitian and co-founder of The Rooted Project. It’s true that consuming fewer carbs reduces insulin and ups glucagon, the hormone that triggers your body’s fat- burning mode, but going ham for low-carb long-term could deliver an own goal. Research published last year in The Lancet Public Health found that following a diet that was less than 40% carbs was associated with a higher mortality risk, and a separate study linked low-carb diets to increased chances of dying from coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer. Sorry, what? It’s all because carb refuseniks miss out on the perks that come with the complex variety. ‘You’ll lose out on essential vitamins, minerals and fibre, and, in the long term, low-carb diets have also been shown to negatively affect gut and bowel health, cholesterol levels and mood,’ adds Hollington.


Simple, really – NHS guidelines suggest that complex carbs make up a third of your plate. See  How to balance your diet.

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