Carbs are often criticized for being a contributing factor to weight gain. The fact is that carbs are not bad for you. The idea that carbs are bad, has cultivated itself from fad diets like Keto and the effects that carbohydrates have on insulin levels. The fact is, carbohydrates are required for vital for providing the fuel your body and brain needs, to optimize your well being.
What Are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients: carbs, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates are a critical factor in providing energy for your body, when broken down into glucose. Glucose is the first source of energy used for basic human movement and exercise.
Are Carbs Bad For You?
Carbs get criticized because they are often thought to contribute to weight gain. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables, have a minimal effect on blood glucose levels, keep you fuller for longer, and actually aid in weight management. It’s the type and quantity of carbohydrates, that is the contributing factor to weight gain and why carbohydrates get such a bad rap.
Simple carbohydrates such as snack foods, like pretzels, chips, white bread, deserts, and crackers are the real culprits in weight gain and the type of carbohydrates you need to be conscious of. These refined carbohydrates are stripped of their nutritional value and infused with hidden refined sugars, which can spike blood glucose levels and aid in weight gain.
Complex carbs can be further broken down into starches and fiber. The difference between starch and fiber is that starch is composed of many sugar molecules and is broken down easily and converted into glucose. Fiber is also composed of sugar molecules does not spike blood glucose. The human digestive system cannot break fiber down until it nears the end of the digestive tract and is therefore considered to be a non-digestible carbohydrate. Fibrous foods like bran, nuts, wheat, vegetables, barley, beans, and oats are considered to be non-digestible.
Complex carbohydrates are better for you because they slow the absorption of sugars, which removes cholesterol and slows down your digestion to keep you fuller for longer. Getting your carbohydrates from real foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, will improve overall health and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Fruit is often believed to be bad for you as well, since it is high in sugar. The truth is that fruit dense in nutrients and rich in natural sugar fructose. Fruit is a great addition to your diet and a healthy replacement for sugary snacks like candy. Opting for a cutie, instead of fruit snacks will help you lose weight.
Are Carbs Bad For You: Takeaway
Carbohydrates are not bad for you. In fact, if you want to lose weight, carbohydrates should account for 40-45% of your daily caloric intake. Carbohydrates are not created equal and it’s important to include quality clean carbohydrates into your diet, to build more lean muscle mass and burn body fat. Complex carbs like oats, bran, sweet potatoes, and brown rice help with digestion, improve cholesterol, and can help you maintain an optimal body composition.
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