As a Registered Dietitian, I want to guide you through the confusing world of dieting. Let’s explore one of the most popular fad diets thousands of dietitians say isn’t going away any time soon. The low carb diet, or Ketogenic, Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, and Whole 30, gained popularity in the 90’s when the Atkins diet first emerged. Carbohydrates include breads, cereals, rice, pasta, starchy vegetables, fruit, milk, and yogurt. As with all low-carb diets in which carbohydrates are restricted or eliminated, calories must come from an alternate source, i.e. fat and protein. Your body uses carbohydrates as its preferred fuel for energy. From carbohydrates, the body makes glucose, used for everyday activities, supporting appropriate blood sugar levels and providing a surge of energy in times of stress. Carbohydrates provide the body with B vitamins, fiber, minerals, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and iron. B vitamins boost your immune system and protect babies from debilitating neural tube defects. Fiber helps control weight by helping you feel fuller, longer. Fiber maintains a healthy GI tract, controls blood sugar in diabetes and prevents diseases such as diverticulosis and cancer. Calcium and vitamin D are necessary for strong teeth and bones. Potassium controls muscles, including the heart and promotes new cell growth. Iron prevents anemia and fatigue. If you restrict carbs, you miss out on a lot of important nutrients. You can take a multi-vitamin but, when vitamins are isolated from their natural food sources, they aren’t absorbed as well. Alternate foods contain often contain small amounts of these critical nutrients and are not considered good sources.