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Can low carbohydrate diets help athletes?

There seems to be a real trend at the moment of people limiting their carbohydrate intake in an effort to lose weight.

These trends can be seen in the adoption of:

  • The high protein Paleo or Atkins diets
  • The high fat Ketogenic diet
  • Some people who are extreme vegans or who may have an eating disorder, only eating salad and green leafy vegetables with no bread, grains, legumes or starchy vegetables.
  • People trying to avoid all sugars including those naturally present in foods such as lactose in milk, fructose in fruit and starches in grains and root vegetables.

So, is this something we all should be doing? Is it healthy to do so? What about athletes and young people still growing, can they get sufficient energy by eating carbo low?

This factsheet by Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA) explains the various levels of low carbohydrate diets, and discusses whether they are safe and do they work?

If you need help with weight loss or to develop a sports nutrition plan, then talk to me.  As an accredited sports dietitian with SDA, I can help you develop a plan to cover your hydration and nutritional needs from day-to-day eating through to training and competition which is safe and healthy, whatever your age.

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