1. You Catch the ‘Low-Carb Flu’
“Carbs are the brain’s main source of energy,” says Spano. “When a person cuts down on carbs, the brain is running on fumes, especially as glycogen stores get low and become depleted.” Eventually, once all that glycogen is gone, your body breaks down fat and runs off of little carbon fragments called ketones. The result: bad breath, dry mouth, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and brain fog. Basically, you feel like you have the flu. Eventually, your body adapts to running on ketones so you don’t feel so bad, but they are still aren’t your body’s preferred fuel source, says Spano.RELATED: Q&A: What’s the Difference Between Multigrain, Whole Grain, and Whole Wheat?
2. Your Cravings Subside
Refined carbohydrates are infamous for sending your blood-sugar levels through the roof, only for them to crash back down again. And recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that the rollercoaster ride activates addiction centers in the brain, leading to subsequent cravings. Opting for fiber-rich whole grains, though, can keep blood-sugar levels from plummeting to prevent cravings, says nutritionist Alex Caspero, R.D., owner of Delicious Knowledge.
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