Low carbohydrate diets play an important role in weight loss. While healthy low-carbohydrate diets are effective and nutritious when based on scientific principles, cutting out all carbs doesn’t follow the rules of good nutrition and can be dangerous. Not all carbs make you fat. Some carbs can help you lose weight while providing important nutrients.
There are good carbs, and there are bad carbs.
Carbohydrates are macronutrients and are primarily considered a source of energy. There are three categories of carbohydrates, simple, complex, and fiber. Simple carbs include sugar. They digest quickly and cause blood sugar levels to spike. Complex carbs are starchy carbs. They are harder to digest and include most vegetables, legumes, and grains. Fiber is the third type of carbohydrate. It slows the absorption of sugar, adds bulk, and feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Sugar, simple carbs, provide little nutrition.
Simple carbs tend to be bad carbs. Simple carbs deliver an energy high quickly, but just as quickly as it spikes, it also drops because of a big increase in insulin levels. That can lead to insulin resistance, and ultimately to weight gain, and if left untreated, type 2 diabetes. Most simple carbs have little or no nutritional value, but plenty of calories that increase weight. These are the bad carbs and include highly processed foods, sugar, and food with added sugar.
Healthy carbs get a bad rap.
Complex carbs and fiber are often clumped with bad sources of carbs. That’s a mistake. You need these for both a healthy body and weight loss management. Complex carbs are loaded with nutrients, which include vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They slow digestion so you’ll feel fuller longer. The fiber in good carbs slows the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber mixes with water to create a gel that softens stools and feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut. Insoluble fiber isn’t digested but adds bulk to the stool to make it easier to pass. Studies show a diet high in soluble fiber can promote heart health and lower the risk of developing high cholesterol.
- Good carbs are found in the produce section since fruits and vegetables contain them and are in whole-grain products. Bad carbs are located in areas that sell baked goods, cookies, refined wheat products, and white rice.
- Eating healthy doesn’t mean eliminating any of the macronutrients, protein, fats, or carbohydrates. It means choosing the healthiest option in each category.
- If you’re trying to reduce the bad carbs in your diet, start by cutting out food with added sugar. It’s hard to do since sugar is addictive. It stimulates the opioid receptors in the brain that bring pleasure, similar to addictive drugs.
- Healthy carbs can become unhealthy if they’re highly processed or cooked in an unhealthy manner. While onions, cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli, and peppers are healthy, the deep-fried counterparts of these vegetables aren’t.
For more information, contact us today at VIP Fitness Center