Preventing Low Carb Vitamin Deficiency
It may not be possible to prevent low carb vitamin deficiency completely on the Atkins diet, given the severe nature of carbohydrate restrictions. The lack of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, combined with an adverse affect on cholesterol levels, and acidity, make this a potentially dangerous long term choice.
However, if you are committed to trying the Atkins or other very low carb diets, at least for the short term, making better food choices is going to be more important than usual. Our body needs its full complement of vitamins for healthy cellular growth and repair, and for the immune system and circulatory system to function well.
Phytochemicals have an antioxidant, anti aging, anti-cancer, and heart protective effect. They are found only in fruit and vegetables - not in protein and fats. Whilst they are not vitamins, this type of low carb deficiency can potentially lead to diseases in the long term.
Whilst it is fundamental not to reduce your intake of carbohydrates so much that you create a low carb vitamin deficiency, it does help to understand the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple cabs usually don't have much in the way of nutritional value. They have a lot of sugar, and provide calories, but little else. So, make your carb choices complex carbs to get the most bang for your nutritional buck.
Low Carb Vitamin Information
Vitamin A is an example of a vitamin that it isn't too difficult to get on a low carb diet (depending on the level of carb restriction however). Vitamin A is found in orange, green, and red vegetables and fruit. Examples include sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, spring greens, and chili peppers. Melons are a good source of vitamin A, as are other fruits, though these may be restricted on a low carb diet.
Vitamin B1 rich foods that are allowed in moderation on a low carb diet include whole meal bread, some vegetables, sunflower seeds, and oatmeal. It is also in many fruits.
Vitamin B2 can be found in broccoli, soybeans, and whole meal breads.
Vitamin B3 is found in grapenuts cereal, peanut butter, almonds, brown rice, and whole wheat bread.
Many other B vitamins are not restricted from a low carb diet because their food sources include, lentils, wheat germ, peanut butter, and green leafy vegetables. As with any diet program, the secret to good weight loss is moderation.
Because Vitamin C is water-soluble, it must be consumed daily. Some fruits have healthy doses of vitamin C, but are also high in sugar. Raw vegetables are a good alternative here. They include: bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spring greens, and cauliflower. These are great, healthy foods that should be able to be included in a low carbohydrate diet.
Folate is needed by both men and women, and is found in low-carb diet friendly foods like lentils, kidney beans, peas, and vegetables. Avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and beets are also good sources of folate.
Vitamins D and E are important nutrients. While fortified breakfast cereals have vitamin D, vitamin E can be found in such low carbohydrate foods as soybeans, wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin E is included in many fruits but fruits are also high in sugar, and aren't recommended for a low-carb diet.
It really is recommended that a low carb vitamin be taken with any seriously restrictive low carbohydrate diet, however. Atkins recommends about 65, a measure of how much is actually missing.