Popular Myths About Carbohydrates
When it comes to carbohydrates, people often have a complete misperception on what they are, why they are important, and whether or not they should avoid eating them. We take a closer look at the most popular myths about carbohydrates.
One of the biggest mistakes people often make is thinking that carbohydrates refer to pasta, bread and potatoes. Although it does – it involves much more than that, in fact, even some fruits and veggies contain carbohydrates. So, before you ban carbohydrates from your diet in an effort to lose weight, educate yourself and forget about all those carbohydrate myths.
What Exactly Are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are a macronutrient and an important source of fuel for the body. They play a very important role in your body’s health, energy levels, and fat loss goals. But cutting out carbs completely is not a good idea, as Susan Bowerman, director of Worldwide Nutrition Education, explains. “Following a very low-carbohydrate diet can really shortchange your physical and mental performance; you limit your intake of many important vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients that are critically important to good health.”
Unfortunately, there are many carbohydrate myths going around, so we’ll take a look at some of the more popular ones.
- Cutting out carbs mean no pasta or bread.
Well, yes, but it doesn’t stop there. If you want to really cut out carbs you’ll have to cut out various fruits, veggies, and snacks, and it won’t be healthy for you to do so. If you did, you’ll also cut out some protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber by cutting out too many foods.
- All carbs are the same.
Wrong. The main issue here is when people think about carbohydrates they think of starch only, like rice, pasta and potatoes. Refined carbs don’t offer much nutritional value, but complex carbohydrates do. Good carbs include fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.
- Carbs make you fat.
Not necessarily. Anything can make you fat if you eat too much of it. Carbohydrates are more calorie-dense than proteins, for example, so it’s easy to overeat carbs. This popular carbohydrate myth also exists because many people lose weight when they cut down on refined, sugary carbs, but it’s not because they’ve eliminated all carbs, it’s because they’ve cut down on higher calorie foods.
- Carbohydrates spike your blood sugar levels
The Nutritional Journal conducted a study in 2014 and found that people who consumed a vegan diet high in fiber and carbohydrates, experienced a drop in average blood sugar levels, lost weight and saw improvements in blood pressure. Remember, our bodies need the glucose from digestible carbohydrates and some sugar in the blood stream is necessary.
Carbohydrates often get a bad name, and that’s simply because people don’t know the facts and don’t take the time to educate themselves. With a healthy, balanced diets and an exercise program, you can experience all the benefits that healthy carbohydrates have to offer.
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