While the Atkins diet might seem to be an effective solution for your weight problem – think again! Although this diet helps in cutting flab effectively, there are certain Atkins diet side effects that people often fail to take into account.
Founded by Robert Atkins, the Atkins diet is a low-carb diet that is aimed at promoting weight loss. Divided into four phases, this diet helps in reducing as well as maintaining body weight. But like all famed diets, it comes with its fair share of side effects. The main Atkins diet side effects that you need to watch out for include bad breath, constipation, dizziness, headache, high cholesterol, and even cancer.
Read on to know about the side effects of the Atkins diet, in detail.
Six Major Side Effects Of The Atkins Diet
Atkins Diet Side Effects #1: Bad Breath
Bad breath is one of the common side effects associated with the Atkins diet. Since the Atkins diet requires you to consume few carbs, the body resorts to burning fat rather than carbs. This metabolic process leads to the production of ketones, which are substances that are released via urine or bad breath. The odor eliminated from the mouth may be similar in nature to pear drops. You should chew mint gum or drink mint tea, two-three times in a day to combat bad breath.
Atkins Diet Side Effects #2: Constipation
The Atkins diet involves the intake of foods containing low amounts of fiber. However, a low-fiber diet may trigger constipation. It is highly advisable that you consume enough fruits and vegetables, due to their high fiber content. In addition to that, take a probiotic supplement as it contains healthy bacteria that play a key role in promoting digestion.
Atkins Diet Side Effects #3: Dizziness
During the initial stages of the Atkins diet, individuals may experience side effects such as headaches, leg cramps, lethargy, and fatigue. Although these symptoms may last for just few days, they can also persist for a number of weeks.
Dizziness mostly occurs as a result of dehydration due to drastic modifications in your carbohydrate intake, thereby having a diuretic effect on the body. Dizziness may also develop as a result of the body switching over from carbs to fats for energy. You need to consume enough water, and drink herbal teas, as these help in preventing dehydration.
Atkins Diet Side Effects #4: Severe Headache
Headaches are another major side effect of the Atkins diet, and this symptom is mostly experienced by individuals during the initial phases of this diet. The reason behind this side effect is decreased carbohydrate intake, coupled with dehydration.
Individuals who normally consume moderate or high amounts of carbs may develop a severe headache after 12 hours, when they start this diet. Low-carb intake may cause headaches that persist for as long as a week, in certain cases.
Atkins Diet Side Effects #5: Increased Risk Of Cancer
Since the Atkins diet requires you to consume high amounts of animal protein, it may increase your risk of developing cancer.
The Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has stated that consuming animal protein for a long period of time may increase a person’s risk of suffering from colon cancer.
In addition to the high amounts of saturated fats present in meat, the Atkins diet also rules out the intake of fruits and vegetables, which is another risk factor for cancer.
Atkins Diet Side Effects #6: High Cholesterol Levels
The Atkins diet promotes the intake of high amounts of saturated fats, which may result in high levels of bad cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for heart disease.
According to a research study published in Journal of The American College of Nutrition (JACN), individuals following the Atkins diet experienced a reduction of approx. 9 pounds (4.08 kg), along with an increase in cholesterol levels. The researchers came to the conclusion that following this diet may cause the cholesterol levels to increase by 25 percent, when continued on a long-term basis.
Any diet comes with its fair share of side effects, so to avoid the Atkins diet side effects, ensure that you consult your physician before following this diet.