Mmm…carbs…we all love them. It’s the stuff of our dreams. Donuts, cake, pizza, cookies, french fries… I’m totally getting hungry. LOL It seems like every decade or so there’s a new diet telling us to cut all carbs because as we all know carbs are evil! But…are carbs really evil? Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about carbs from many sources and many doctors and then you can decide for yourself.
So first lets separate carbs into two categories: good carbs (complex carbohydrates) and bad carbs (simple carbohydrates). Complex carbs are your starches and grains like potatoes, pasta and bread. Simple carbs are your sugars (raw sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, glucose, fructose, etc.). There is one big exception on the simple carbohydrate list however, fruit. Technically it contains simple carbohydrates but we don’t classify it as a carbohydrate and we all know fruit is healthy. It’s really only a concern if you are diabetic.
Carbohydrates give you energy. Yes it’s true you can get energy from both protein and fat but neither of them give you the sustained lasting energy complex carbohydrates can give you. Complex carbohydrates are actually burned more efficiently than protein and fat. Also, when you use carbohydrates for energy instead of protein it helps reserves protein for much needed muscle growth. This is especially important if you work out.
Okay so let’s get down to what you are all thinking…carbs make you fat. This simply isn’t true. First, no one thing makes you fat. As with everything moderation is key but here is the big secret to eating carbohydrates without packing on the pounds….protein! Eat protein with your carbs.
But how exactly does protein keep you from gaining weight? When you eat healthy carbs (brown rice, potatoes, pastas and breads without white flour, etc) eat an equal or more serving of protein. The protein limits the glycemic impact of the carbohydrates allowing your body to burn the carbs as energy instead of storing them as fat. What this means is the protein prevents your body’s sugar levels from spiking. This allows your body to use healthy carbs as they are intended to be used. I first learned this trick from a nutritionist when I had gestational diabetes. I’ve since seen it taught many places and seen it work well for myself and many others.
DISCLAIMER: this does not work for simple carbohydrates. While protein may help, simple carbs are usually more unhealthy junk food. Also, eating an equal serving of protein and carbs doesn’t mean you can eat three servings of pasta and chicken and still expect to loose weight.
Food for thought… Look at your top athletes. These are people who’s job (and paychecks) depend on what they put in their bodies and the performance they get out of their bodies. They have access to top doctors and nutritionists. When was the last time you heard one say cut all carbs? As with everything in this world moderation is key.
End result…carbs are not evil! Well…not all carbs are evil. Chocolate cake you may be evil but that’s okay I love you anyways. LOL Love this post? Make sure to subscribe to never miss a post.