What Happens If You Don't Get Enough Carbohydrates?


Quick Answer

When a human eats less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day for several days in a row, the body starts burning fat instead of sugar for energy. This metabolic state is sometimes called ketosis, because the body manufactures chemicals called ketone bodies to provide fuel for the brain.

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Full Answer

Inducing ketosis by following a very low-carbohydrate diet may be beneficial to health. It can lower the risk of heart disease and be very beneficial for individuals with obesity, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes or insulin resistance. Individuals with certain types of epilepsy also find ketogenic diets to be beneficial.

A diet that provides fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day is often called a ketogenic diet. Individuals on ketogenic diets consume a lot of vegetables, a lot of fat and moderate levels of protein. They avoid carbohydrate-rich foods, such as grains, starchy vegetables and sweet fruits.

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