Is it right for someone trying to loose weight to consume carbohydrates?
When trying to loose weight, many people cut out carbohydrates. But this is a huge misconception, according to a top nutritionist. Our brains need glucose for fuel efficiently and eating the right cards can make the difference. Carbohydrates are important to health as is staying at the correct weight. It is important to note that not all carbs are the same, however, Carbohydrates are commonly referred to as either “good carbs” or “bad carbs.” When trying to follow a healthful diet, and especially when trying to lose weight, carbohydrate intake should focus on good carbs over bad carbs.
Good carbs are complex carbohydrates, which means they are high in fiber and nutrients and take longer to break down. As they take longer to break down, they do not cause blood sugar levels to spike or rise too high.
Examples of good carbs include:
- whole fruit with the skin on
- whole grains
- high-fiber vegetables, such as sweet potatoes
- high-fiber beans and legumes
Bad carbs are simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down and quickly cause blood sugar levels to spike.
Examples of bad carbs include:
- white sugar, bread, pasta, and flour
- sugary drinks and juices
- cakes, candy, and cookies
- other processed foods
- Eat the right carbs
For instance potatoes considered as a powerhouse is full of fibre filling and with a low energy density. On the other hand, potato chips, deep fried in oil, with salt and pepper and maybe even a dipping sauce, this could be a bad idea because of the highly fattening components that is easy to over-consume.
Instead of chips, she recommends roasting potato wedges with olive oil and rosemary for a healthy alternative.
- Low-carb does not mean ketogenic
On a keto diet, you’d usually eat under 50 grams of carbs a day (which is a tiny amount), with a very high fat intake.
“Ketosis (switching from burning carbs to body fat) can be a highly beneficial metabolic state, especially for people with certain diseases like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, epilepsy or obesity but this really is not the only way to do a ‘low-carb’ diet.
Low-carb can be anything up to 100-150 grams of carbs per day, she explains, which can include several pieces of fruit a day and even small amounts of whole, starchy foods like potatoes.
- Not allcarbs are unhealthy sugar
There are many different types of sugar, including glucose, fructose and galactose.
But although starches like grains and potatoes get broken down into glucose in the digestive tract, raising blood sugar levels, the sugar in a potato is not the same as that of a chocolate bar.
“Whereas table sugar contains half glucose, half fructose, starch is only glucose,” Lambert explains. “It is the fructose portion of sugar that is the bit to be concerned about, starch (glucose) does not have the same effect inside the body. A balanced diet with portion control and complex carbohydrates can work well for weight loss.”
- You can gain weight by eating a low-carb diet
When following a low-carb diet, many people turn to foods that are high in fat and calories – even the good fat in too large a portion can cause a problem with weight gain, Lambert points out.
“Portion sizes are crucial no matter what diet you follow,” she says. “Many low-carb foods can be fattening, especially for people who are prone to binge eating and have a history of fad diets.”
So yes, indulgent foods like cheese, nuts and cream can’t be mindlessly snaffled just because you’re on a low-carb diet – you could end up gaining weight as a result.
- Carbs tend to keep you in a happy state
Carbs play an important role in creating serotonin, the happy hormone.
Tryptophan an amino is essential in this process needs carbs to help it cross over the brain’s blood barrier.
“Tryptophan converts to serotonin and serotonin to melatonin, which is involved in our sleep cycle. Therefore, carbs make you happy and help you sleep, both of which are important factors for weight loss.”
- Cutting carbs is unsustainable
Although some people experience initial weight loss from a no-carb diet, most can’t maintain it, we should all be aiming for a clean, balanced diet.