Surely you’ve heard plenty of myths about carbs and whether or not they’re healthy. It seems like for every health and fitness guru that promotes a low-carb diet, there’s another trainer or nutritionist that argues for a high carb, low-fat plan. Here are seven weight loss myths about carbs that we’re officially debunking today.
One of the most popular myths about carbs is that they make you fat. Ultimately weight gain doesn’t come from whether or not you’re eating carbs, but rather your total caloric intake. If you’re eating more calories than your body can burn off, that’s going to cause weight gain. It has nothing to do with carb consumption in itself.
Many believe that eating carbohydrates will put them at risk of diabetes. Mind you, if you do have problems with your insulin levels, carbohydrate intake is related to these levels and naturally you’re going to have to watch your carb intake. Generally though, eating carbs is not going to give you diabetes! In fact, adequate consumption of whole-grain carbs actually reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic disease.
Some people think eating carbs makes them hungry. This is partially true if you’re eating refined carbs like white bread, white pasta, and other carb-based junk foods that have no fiber. Refined carbohydrates certainly create a spike in blood sugar, and you’ll definitely gain weight if you eat them. But whole grain, fiber-rich carbs will actually keep your blood sugar steady. In other words, you’ll be LESS hungry if you moderately consume whole-grain carbs throughout the day.
Sure, refined carbs like white sugar and white bread might not rank that high on the nutritional scale. If however, you’re eating organic, whole-grain carbs, you’re definitely getting plenty of nutrients! Whole grain, organic carbs are actually very mineral-rich. Trace minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium, and zinc can be found in abundant quantities in carbs.
Some people swear off eating carbs because they’re afraid they’ll get sleepy after eating them, and that’s the last thing you need during a hectic day at the office. Refined carbohydrates like pasta, bread, and potatoes can definitely make you sleepy or tired after eating them. But in actuality, whole grain carbs may give you the boost of energy you need midday. As long as the carbs are high in fiber, you shouldn’t feel a groggy but rather energized!
Most athletes and gym rats look to protein for building muscle but eating carbohydrates is actually super crucial to gaining lean muscle mass. Consuming protein AND carbs after a workout will help your muscles grow, which means your resting metabolic rate will be higher even when you’re doing activities like sitting or standing. Protein is obviously still important—but don’t forget about those carbs either!
You might think you need to go on some radically low-carb diet to get the body of your dreams. The truth is long-term weight loss success usually includes moderate consumption of whole grain and fiber-rich carbs. Depriving yourself is only going to make things worse, and might set you up for a carb binge!
Eating carbs is definitely part of many healthy eating plans out there. Ultimately it comes down to listening to your body and figuring out what works for you! What kind of ‘carboholic’ are you?
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