I am not a professional nutritionist and this post’s content is my own opinion, however I have studied many books, courses and articles as well as tried various approaches to diet myself, that I am sure I have enough knowledge to write about this topic.
Why would I write about it ?
I am so over seeing *carbs are bad for you* *carbs make you fat* *low carb, high fat* statements. Everything, EVERYTHING even a cucumber is bad for you and can make you fat if you consume too much of it and you eat more than you should. In my opinion, the ongoing trend to restrict carbs comes from the statement that “excess sugar equals excess fat” and that may be true but first of all – carbs are not equal and not every sugar is bad for you. Many people take refined sugars and sugars found in fruit, veg and grains as the same thing, and that is one big of a mistake.
Let’s get to it !
Carbohydrates are an essential and body preferred nutrient as they provide a readily source of energy and can be easily accessed when needed. Moreover, they are the only available fuel source for our brain. They are required in large amounts by our body as they are used as fuel in every activity we perform, with each gram providing 4kcals. On a daily basis, they should make up around 50% of our calorie intake, most of them being complex carbs as they contain health supporting substances such as fibre – crucial to sustain good digestion. Fibre plays an important role in bowel movements, supporting our digestion and preventing constipation. Moreover, it keeps you full and in result you are less likely to overeat.
#2 Blood sugar levels
Not all carbs have the same effect on our blood sugar levels, as that nutrient is classified by their glycemic index and studies show that low GI foods help to stabilise blood sugar by keeping us full for longer.
#3 Carbs boost mood
Carbohydrates promote production of serotonin, which is a chemical responsible for our mental well being. Therefore, people following a low carb diet may experience more depression, anxiety or stress.
#4 They are good for your heart
It is the soluble fibre intake, responsible also for keeping us full for longer that can drop the levels of bad LDL cholesterol, that contributes to many heart diseases. It has also been studied that people who consume more grains, such as brown rice, quinoa tend to have lower bad cholesterol and higher good cholesterol levels.
You should never say no to a fruit, veg or grain as long as it remains a whole food. Following a diet that makes you satisfied, happy means it should be balanced and should consist of all the vital nutrients, therefore you should not cut your carbohydrate intake, but understand the difference between the real, whole foods containing sugars and carbs and processed foods, that contain refined sugars, certainly not good for you.