Carbs are the enemy?! NOT! (Remember, “not”? annoying, yet still appropriate in some cases).
Let me tell you a little story about how this diet myth developed. Ever hear of the “Atkins Diet?” Dr. Atkins was a cardiologist who developed the Atkins diet published in 1972, which made the world believe carbs and fruit are the enemy and consuming high protein and fats were the BEST way to control your weight. He apparently died of a fall and trauma to the head, but some say a heart attack caused the fall (wouldn’t be surprised if he believed his own high-fat/low-fruit diet theory). Since then, there have been NO SIGNIFICANT long-term scientific studies on this diet. In fact, some of the leading medical and health organizations such as: the American Medical Association, the American Dietetic Association, and the American Heart Association, completely OPPOSE it. More importantly, what has actually been determined is that, much like the Keto Diet (which you can get my thoughts on in my Why Keto is a Waste of Your PRECIOUS Time blog), the Atkins diet lacks some ESSENTIAL vitamins and nutrients. Because these fad diets mainly focus on quick and short-term weight loss, they fail to tell you how high-protein and fat diets may cause permanent kidney damage, heart disease, put you at an increased risk of colon cancer, osteoporosis, dehydration, electrolyte loss, calcium depletion, weakness, nausea, and other heart related problems. Also, the low carb type diets are known to be even WORSE for overweight individuals with the medical problems such as heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease, and diabetes than it is for over-weight people with no health problems at all. (hmmm.)
Please stop believing the hype! A healthy diet NEEDS carbs. But not all carbs are created equal. It’s important to know which carbs are the ones that will contribute to good health and which to avoid. Here are 3 reasons why you MUST eat carbs:
Carbohydrates are made up of three components: fiber, starch, and sugar. Fiber and starch are complex carbs, while sugar is a simple carb. Depending on how much of each of these is found in a food determines its nutrient quality. Stick to complex carbs, as simple carbs are digested quickly and will have a negative effect on your blood sugar! Incorporating complex carbs in your diet will help you not only feel fuller longer—so you are less likely to over-eat—they also provide more essential nutrients than simple carbs. The reason they help with feeling full is because they are high in fiber and digest more slowly. Another added benefit is they help manage blood sugar spikes after meals, which makes them ideal for people with type 2 diabetes and also why I highly recommend having them at lunch, so that you can avoid the 3pm crash. In addition, the fiber found in complex carbs is especially important because it promotes bowel regularity (which is absolutely necessary!) and also helps control cholesterol.
Have you tried a low or no-carb diet before? Did you notice how it was harder to think or focus? That’s because your brain is literally being starved of fuel when you deprive it of carbs! Carbs are what fuel your prescious brain, so not having them regularly can result in feeling cloudy, confused, lightheaded, even slurring your speech. And stripping your body of this essential nutrient for long periods of time can be very dangerous and even fatal! In a study conducted in 2008, women placed on a low-carbohydrate diet for 28 days were found to suffer more from impaired reaction time and reduced spatial memory than did women placed on a high-carbohydrate diet. This is why it is so important to ensure that you try to include carb-rich foods in your daily diet to optimize brain function.
Carbohydrates are the MAIN SOURCE of ENERGY in the human diet (period!) You must understand that carbs not only provide energy, but also aid in blood sugar regulation. If you’ve read my blogs, you probably already know why keeping your blood sugar leveled is NECESSARY for ENERGY. In addition, using carbs for fuel prevents the breakdown of proteins for energy, which is so important for maintaining a low body fat.
EXPLANATION: Protein feeds muscle>>>the more muscle you have, the lower your body fat will be! >>>You NEED MUSCLE IN ORDER TO HAVE LOW BODY FAT!
Along with helping maintain healthy muscle tissue, carbs also help with fat metabolism, which helps provide more energy as well. When you deny your body of carbs you also promote the degradation of skeletal muscle and other tissues such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, because you’re essentially stripping yourself of fuel, so your body will basically start eating itself (yikes!).
Although my blog topics can be very beneficial to your overall health, they are not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published information on or through my website, blog, e-mails, programs and services. However, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. Every effort has been made to present you with the most accurate, up-to-date information, but because the nature of diet, fitness and health research is constantly evolving, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of our content.