Low Carb Diets - Yes or No?

The right carbs play a fundamental role in our bodies and support increased energy, overall health, and weightloss. Carbs can be good for your heart, help to keep your memory sharp and boost your mood.  But when you are trying to lose weight fast, are they the right choice?

Remember that carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy! They help fuel your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system. When carbohydrate consumption falls below 100 grams, the body usually responds by burning muscle tissue for the glycogen (stored glucose) it contains.

The Atkins diet and the many other low-carb diets that followed in its footsteps have turned out to be less effective, and less healthy, than originally claimed. Often the weight returned and, as it did, problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure came back too.

It just comes down to knowing WHEN and WHAT to eat for good results. For instance, fiber is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full and keeps blood cholesterol levels in check. Minimize bad carbs by eating fewer refined and processed carbohydrates that strip away beneficial fiber.

When in doubt, remember this: if it was man-made or processed then it’s probably not good for you and if it grew in the ground or on a tree go for it. Here are some carbs you SHOULD eat for fat loss and health:

  • Fruits and leafy green vegetables
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squashes
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Lentils/beans

Here’s a short list of carbs you should AVOID if you want to lose weight:

  • Simple sugars such as sodas, candy, fruit juices, pastries, etc.
  • Wheat breads and pastas
  • White rice, rice cakes, etc.

Carbs themselves are not the issue.  The easiest to find, modern, highly processed carbs everywhere in the supermarket are the threat.  Ancient grains, whole foods and vegitables will fill you up without the extra weight.