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Are Carbs the Enemy? Common Misconceptions about Bread and Other Starchy Foods

Bread, pasta, starch-rich foods – those all need to be cut out in order to lose weight, right? Well, true in the active weight-loss phase, as there is no question that high-glycemic carbs like these will spike blood sugar, causing an insulin release, thereby making it more difficult to burn fat. As we get closer to goal weight, and once the goal is achieved, we can add higher-glycemic carbs back in…in moderation. Always best to go with whole grain products if you do, as the contained fiber lowers the glycemic index, somewhat mitigating the fat-storing process.

MYTH: You can’t eat carbs when trying to lose weight.

Wrong. A well-balanced diet doesn’t mean you have to completely deprive yourself of carbs. It’s all about portion control and choosing carbohydrates with the right type of glycemic index that will support your goals. Opt for the high-fiber vegetables, greens, lower-glycemic fruits rather than the flour and sugar laden choices. Guess what? After adopting these changes for a short time, your tastes will change, and your system will no longer crave the sugar and starches!

There are some simple tricks you can incorporate into your daily routine that can help you keep your carb health in check. You can start by opting for whole grains whenever possible, as well as pairing your carbs with low-calorie veggies or salad. In addition, consider purchasing bread with a higher fiber content and get in the habit of taking home at least half of your carbolicious meals from your favorite restaurants.

MYTH: All carbs are the same.

Say this in a room of nutritionists, and they’ll tell you this misconception couldn’t be farther from the truth. Depending on how much fiber is in each type of carbohydrate, the body is affected in different ways. For instance, healthy carbs like whole grains and legumes break down sugar at a faster pace. Processed foods, desserts, sugary drinks, and added sugars, on the other hand, slow down the body’s response to breaking down sugar and are nothing but empty calories.

When considering your carb health, you can think of carbohydrates in one of two ways. The ones you should avoid are refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, rice, and pasta, which contain little to no fiber, are not rich in nutrients and contribute to weight gain without strict portion control. Complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are the ones to incorporate into a balanced diet, as they are nutrient and fiber-rich and sustain your body with the energy it needs to function.

MYTH: All carbs cause weight gain.

Which type of carbs you choose to consume can definitely have an impact on your weight, but carbohydrates are rarely the sole cause of weight gain. For some, portion control is the true issue, while others gain weight from choosing to load up their carbs with fattening sauces and toppings. And sometimes, carbs are hidden where we least expect them – believe it or not, your favorite coffee shop drink could contain up to 100 grams of carbs!

In fact, many agree that low-carb or no-carb diets are not successful in the long run. That’s because when you initially cut carbs out of your diet, you typically quickly drop a few pounds of water weight, and then that short-term success begins to stall. Without consuming carbs for extended periods of time, your body will notice they’re missing as a source of energy and begin to break down your muscles by converting the stored protein into energy. Take-away…eat the right carbs to achieve and maintain weight loss; the human body was built to thrive on carbs, but make the prudent choices.

Improve Your Carb Health

These are just a few of the biggest misconceptions surrounding carb health. But by incorporating the right types of carbohydrates in your diet, as well as ensuring all of your macro-nutrients are balanced, you’ll begin to notice positive changes in your metabolism and weight. And rest assured – you don’t have to go it alone. Compass Fat Loss works with patients on a daily basis to improve their diets and help them keep the weight off for good. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.

Best Regards,

Dr. Eric M. Kusher
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