Should I eat carbohydrates?

Avoid carbohydrates: THAT really happens!

No bread, no pizza, no pasta - according to estimates by the Times Magazine, almost 100 million Europeans and Americans are now avoiding carbohydrates in their meals.

The supposedly bad carbs are particularly notorious among those who want to lose weight or those who pay attention to a slim line. After all, carbohydrates are responsible for our weight gain - at least that is what the popular belief is.

But what effects does the complete renunciation of carbohydrates actually have on our body? We'll tell you what really happens when you cut carbs from your diet.

How many carbohydrates are in it? This table gives you the answer in a flash.

In the video: There are a lot of carbohydrates in these foods!

Video by Aischa Butt

1. You lose weight

Although it is extremely difficult to completely avoid carbohydrates, more and more people swear by this form of nutrition. Because a low-carbohydrate diet is now considered a guarantee for rapid weight loss - especially stubborn belly fat should be drastically reduced by doing without.

The fact is: If we eat fewer carbohydrates (less than 20 grams per day), our body automatically switches to so-called ketosis after about three days. This ensures that our organism now draws energy directly from our fat deposits and that we weigh less.

However, nutritionists of the German Nutrition Society are of the opinion that it is more important to eat less than you consume and not to whether the food contains a lot or a few carbohydrates.

In addition, you shouldn't be fooled, especially at the beginning of a diet. The body initially loses a lot of water and thus (supposedly) weight. But at the end of a diet, the water often returns quickly and we weigh just as much as before.

2. You have less food cravings

Another positive effect that arises from not consuming carbohydrates: hunger attacks are a thing of the past!

White bread, pasta, pizza and the like ensure a rapid rise and fall in our blood sugar level. The result: Although we are full, we get cravings for sweets after a meal. On the other hand, those who do without carbohydrates and instead eat a lot of healthy fats, fresh vegetables and proteins ensure a constant blood sugar level - there is no cravings. In addition, fiber and proteins keep you full longer than carbohydrates - this means we are less hungry and lose weight.

3. You get the low carb flu

No carb fans should like that less: If our body receives little or no carbohydrates, it can lead to unpleasant side effects, the so-called low carb flu. Headaches, circulatory problems, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, bad mood and nausea can occur, especially in the first few days.

Usually our body adjusts to the lack of carbohydrate intake after a few days, but performance can suffer permanently from doing without. Because the brain needs around 120 grams of carbohydrates a day to be fully efficient.

This is also confirmed by a study by Tufts University in Massachusetts. A group of scientists tested the effects of a strict low-carb diet on brain performance back in 2008. The result: The participants who had not consumed any carbohydrates achieved worse results in terms of reaction time and short-term and long-term memory than the participants who had a reduced calorie diet but a balanced diet.

4. You are (possibly) malnourished

Bread, pasta and the like are just as much a part of a balanced diet as fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for us, we need them, for example, for the formation of serotonin in the brain, the messenger substance for a good mood, and bread and pasta made from whole grain cereals are good sources of minerals. The German Nutrition Society recommends covering at least 50 percent of the daily energy requirement with carbohydrates.

According to nutrition expert Tatjana Ballauff, a carbohydrate deficiency can also lead to a deficiency of thiamine, for example: "If important B vitamins such as thiamine are missing, changes in the central nervous system can occur and consequences such as Alzheimer's disease and confusion are conceivable," she explains in one Interview with "".

Some studies also confirm that completely avoiding carbohydrates can lead to health problems in the long term. A low-carb diet can even increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, or stroke.

5. You are physically unfitter

Not only can our brain perform less effectively if we no longer consume carbohydrates, the renunciation also has an impact on our fitness. Athletes who do a lot of endurance training need the energy from carbohydrates in order to be efficient. Without carbohydrates, our body needs additional effort - we perceive sport as much more strenuous and strenuous than usual.

6. You have digestive problems

Carbohydrates are high in fiber, and that helps make food digest faster and easier. If the body lacks a regular supply of carbohydrates, it can lead to digestive problems such as constipation.

Those who, in turn, replace all carbohydrates with fats can also suffer from flatulence and diarrhea. A balance of all nutrients is critical to good digestion.

7. You get heartburn

Another negative effect: if you hardly or no more carbohydrates and instead increase the fat content in your diet, you can promote heartburn.

Low Carb: The Best Foods for Weight Loss

Video by Sarah Glaubach

Not all carbohydrates are bad!

Good news for everyone who wants to lose weight but still don't want to completely avoid carbohydrates: Not all carbohydrates are bad! If you eat the right one, you can also lose weight with carbs.

In general, a distinction is made between simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include, for example, white bread, chips, fast food, pasta and sweets. They are full of sugar, so the body has to produce a lot of insulin to transport it to the body's cells. The result: insulin hinders the burning of fat and ensures that fat is deposited especially on the belly.

Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain products, legumes and vegetables, on the other hand, are low in sugar, so the body also produces much less insulin. They also keep you full longer and provide important nutrients that our body needs.

These carbohydrates are especially good:

A balanced diet also includes (healthy) carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are particularly healthy. This includes:

  • Quinoa
  • oatmeal
  • whole grain products
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Brown rice

More information about carbohydrates and nutrition:

This is why losing weight with the low carb diet is so effective

Finally slim? What is REALLY good for not eating carbohydrates in the evening

Low carb breakfast: 6 great recipe ideas without carbohydrates

Is it tasty! 5 carbohydrate-free dinner recipes

Discover our newsletter!
We have so much to tell you: news, trends, tips and much more.
I register