Carbs for Bone Health

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For people that are into fitness; those that want to lose weight or want to build muscle, the keto diet is an easy solution. But here’s why it could be very dangerous: carbs are essential to every metabolic process in the body. If you are avoiding carbs during your fitness journey, you might be putting your body in danger.

Dangers of carb deficiencies

Any health expert will strongly advise against adopting a no-carb diet. Carbohydrates are the driving force of all functions. You need the energy from simple sugars for all body processes. So much so that when the body does not have enough carbohydrates, it starts digging into fat and protein reserves. Now this sounds like a good way to lose weight. But it’s not. These ‘protein reserves’ are what make up our organs. ‘Fat reserves’ are what make up the skin that insulates us and helps us regulate our body temperature.

When you don’t have enough carbs in your system, you begin to digest your own body for energy. This is more dangerous than it sounds. It can lead to the following consequences:

  • Impaired heart health
  • Gut imbalances and digestive issues
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Weaker bones


Carbohydrate intake is indirectly linked with bone mass. While there is not enough compelling evidence to say carb deficiencies directly result in a reduction in bone mass, they can decrease the availability of minerals from foods, which indirectly influences bone health. This means you need carbohydrates to absorb other minerals.

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones or causes structural changes in the shape and density of bones. Bones become more prone to fractures and healing from them takes longer. If you hit the gym often, osteoporosis can become a life-threatening condition. Every time you lift weights, you are putting your bones at risk of breaking.

Gender Differences

There is evidence that after a certain age, women’s bones become weaker. The hormonal changes that accompany menopause weaken the immune system and can decrease bone density in females, giving rise to many other health conditions. Backaches are the leading reported symptom. If you are a woman, maintaining carbohydrate intake is even more important because a deficiency has greater consequences.

How to consume carbs safely

You can continue your weight loss journey without cutting carbs out of your diet. The key is to consume them more efficiently. Try the following:

  • Avoiding processed carbs: don’t eat chips, but you can eat home-baked potatoes. Eat fresh foods, not packaged.
  • Consume the right amount: learn about portion sizes and incorporate adequate carbs. You can still add more protein and fat without stripping your body of its carbohydrate needs.
  • Eat at the right time: binging on carbs late in the evening is enticing, but can lead to hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, and sleep disturbances. Breakfast, lunch and evening snacks might be the ideal time to get your carbs in.
  • Pick complex carbohydrates: these are processed very differently by the body and rarely lead to weight gain or energy spikes. Brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa and even corn are safe options.

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