Carbs Are Not The Enemy

For many years we have been hearing about how bad carbohydrates are for us. This is simply untrue. Carbs come from plants, and many plant foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber that are vital to good health. Quality and quantity of the carbohydrate are the more important aspects to consider.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories.

So, if you get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day. Carbohydrates should make up the highest percentage of macronutrients consumed daily.

Carbohydrates are your body’s main fuel source.

Here are just a few that prevent many people from enjoying necessary carbs:

Myth 1: Eat Only Complex Carbs; Avoid Simple Carbs

Simple carbohydrates are composed of easy-to-digest, basic sugars, which can be an important source of energy. Some of these sugars are naturally occurring, such as those in fruits and in milk, while refined or processed sugars are often added to candies, baked goods, and soda. So, these are not necessarily “bad foods”; it just depends on the food you are getting them from.

Complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, contain longer chains of sugar molecules, which usually take more time for the body to break down and use. These provides you with a more consistent amount of energy.

Both of these types of carbs can be found in whole or processed forms. So, the deciding factor on choosing one of these will be between processed and unprocessed.

Myth 2:Low-Carb Diets Are Healthier

These diets have been shown to improve some metabolic markers, but they don’t reduce the risk of CVD and overall mortality.

Additionally, low-carb dieters tend to gain weight instead of losing it. The stress and depression low-carb dieters feel eventually derails their efforts to stay thin..
The stress can produce high levels of hormones, like cortisol, that boost your appetite and lead to bingeing.

Myth 3: Carbs Are Fattening

Many studies have shown that whole grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of weight gain.

Too many calories (whether from carbs, protein or fat) results in weight gain.

Basically, any food can make you gain weight if you eat too much of it; moderation is key.

 

Janine Castillo, R.D.

 

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