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Food Myth Friday: Carbs Make You Fat.


There is a war being waged. A war on carbs... In this war, I'm firmly in carbohydrate's war camp. That's right! I'm with carbs! Especially when the carbs come packaged as shown above. I can eat my weight in sushi and gyoza!


We've been through this before, guys. Fats, eggs, high-fructose corn syrup, red meat, and the list goes on and on. I'm not really sure why we want to continually vilify a specific food group. I mean, did you ever think that it's you and not the food? Let's take a quick look at why folks think carbs are making them fat.

 

The Truth About Weight Gain

It's calories, not carbs, that contribute to your overall weight gain and weight loss. That's it. That's the WHOLE secret. Eat more calories than you burn, and you'll gain weight. Burn more than you eat, and you'll lose weight.


Yes, I've said before that a calorie does not equal a calorie, but in this equation, it's not what you eat so much as how much of it. However, the low-carb craze that Dr. Atkins started in the 70s has gone a long way towards casting a bad light on carbs.

 

Ok, Sugar isn't the Greatest

Fine, I'll admit that a ton of refined sugar, white bread, bleached rice, pasta, and doughnuts will invariably lead you down a path to obesity and diabetes. However, if you're cutting these refined carbs out and cutting out healthier carbs such as whole grains and veggies... well, you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater.


These carbs are literally the best fuel for your body and contain sugar-slowing fiber, and other vital nutrients. Plus, in many studies, it was harder for folks to stick with a low-carb diet due in part to the fact that there just aren't that many ready-made low-carb meals and snacks. Though, that market is growing daily!

 

Low-Carb Diets Drop Weight Quickly

Fine, again, I'll make a concession here. In study after study, those that consumed a low-carb diet (i.e., Atkin's or Keto) lost weight at a rate that outstripped those that cut calories with carbs still being part of the diet. At first...


The longer the low-carb group stayed on their diet, the more even the weight loss became with those on a regular reduced-calorie diet. What's more, those who came off low-carb diets were quicker to regain the weight they lost on the low-carb diet than those stuck by carbs.

 

In the end, however, the diet you can stick to is the one that will be the best for you. Just keep in mind that carbs aren't purely evil, and low-carb isn't the end-all-be-all miracle diet to a slimmer you. Do your research, understand your goal, and consult with your health professional/local nutritionist if you have any doubts at all.


Good carbs are king, in my book. I hope that you can find a path to keep them in your more sustainable way of eating as you begin your journey!

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