Are Carbs Really Dieter’s Enemy?
There was a time when everyone thought that fats were the enemy. Back then, we all focussed on the simple fact that fats contained more calories as well as some evidence suggesting that they might be linked to heart disease and other problems. Indeed, this is the premise that diet plans like Weight Watchers were founded on!
But over time, fat has had an image change. For starters, it turned out that those studies linking fat with heart disease were unfounded. What was more though, it was also found that fat was better for keeping us feeling fuller for longer, at least partly because it takes longer to be absorbed.
Suddenly, everyone was raving about fat and it was carbs that had the bad reputation. Carbs spike the blood with sugar, resulting in an insulin response. Sugar causes inflammation. Simple carbs tend to be low in nutrients and make you hungry. The list goes on…
So are carbs really the enemy? Should you make like Atkins and ditch them entirely?
The Dilemma With Going No-Carbs
The answer to that question is well and truly ‘no’. While it’s right that we get a lot of glucose from cars, what’s also true is that this is really required. If you live only on fats for fuel, then you’ll be on what’s known as a ‘ketogenic’ diet and this can leave you low on energy over time. Likewise, totally avoiding all fruits and vegetables (most of these are carbs) will almost certainly lead to nutrient deficiencies as well as a very low fibre intake.
Reduce carbohydrate consumption is not to eliminate them
Of course, though, most diets don’t recommend completely cutting carbs and are instead more likely to advise just reducing them or eating only ‘complex’ carbs. This option is a lot better and it certainly can provide a good way to prevent hunger pangs and to discourage lipogenesis.
Even then though, it’s key to assure that you are still getting enough. Not just is avoiding carbs a little soul crushing and somewhat difficult – it’s also, however, a surefire way to finish low on energy. If you can lessen the quantity of chips you have with your next meal then great but don’t feel too guilty over having some potatoes.
As is so frequently the case, the truth is a little more complicated than ‘this one food group makes you fat’. Make sure you keep eating a healthy and balanced diet and simply apply a little common sense!
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