Carbs are a heavily debated topic when it comes to weight loss and those that want to focus on how much of which macronutrients they need to consume for optimal health. More times than not, carbohydrates get a bad rep, while a small group of experts really praise the importance of health benefits that come from unrefined sources of carbohydrates. As a result of this heated very clear two-sided debate, it only leaves a lot of people confused about carbohydrates and their importance for our health.
Are carbs good?
Do they cause weight gain?
Do they cause spikes in insulin?
Why do I feel like I am in a food coma after I eat them?
How can they be good if I feel so bloated after eating them?
The truth is carbohydrates don’t have to be your enemy. In fact, there really isn’t one food that should be your enemy unless of course, you have adverse reactions to it but if we are just chatting specifically about weight gain, there isn’t one food to blame. Weight gain comes down simply to this… if you consume more calories than you burn, you can easily gain weight. In excess, any food could make you gain weight, even the healthiest food on the planet–too much is just too much.
Recently, there was a study done that compared eating a high carbohydrate diet to a low carbohydrate diet to really give proof on if carbohydrates can be something people can point their finger at. The results found that those consuming the same caloric intake levels, yet differences in their carbohydrates made no difference whether subjects were consuming certain amounts of carbohydrates or not. This isn’t to say that you should eat a diet high in carbohydrates because actually that could bring on some other health issues, especially when it comes to refined carbohydrates.
Refined carbohydrates are ones that are stripped of fiber and contain added sugars. These types of carbohydrates are the ones that people typically think of as unhealthy are contain an overall lower nutritional value when compared to unrefined carbohydrates in their original form, like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. The long term effects of eating a diet rich in refined carbohydrates are an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a heightened risk of mortality.
In conclusion, if you want to stick to achieving optimal health you don’t need to be afraid of carbohydrates as long as you stick to whole food sources of carbohydrates and limit foods that have been heavily processed.
Remember being in a calorie deficit balanced healthy diet is key to weight loss and living the best life.