5 Reasons To Eat More Carbs
Written by: Lilla Bessenyei
This is not a big surprise. Each person has an opinion about which diet is worthwhile or which diet is best. And most of us have probably tried at least 2 or 3 types of diets in our lifetimes thus far.
When thinking about carbs, the first things that typically come to mind are donuts, cakes, pastas, breads, etc. Needless to say, these foods chock-full of simple carbohydrates not only cause weight gain, but they’re also very unhealthy and lack essential nutrients for optimal health. That being the case, it’s better to just avoid carbs altogether then, right?
Not so fast, my friend.
While avoiding bad (simple) carbohydrates, such as those listed above, may be a smart choice, the question you should really be asking yourself is this, “are all carbs created equal?”
Before jumping on the “all or nothing” train, here are 5 things to consider. You may be surprised what you find…
1. Not all carbs are the same.
More often than not, people blame carbs for their weight gain. The truth is, there are actually two types of carbohydrates – one group contains processed carbs (simple), while the other includes whole food sources – these are considered the GOOD CARBS (complex carbs).
“Bad” carbs (simple carbs), such as donuts, cakes and various forms of cookies, are loaded with fat (mostly trans fats), which make them incredibly high in calories. This is one of the biggest factors that makes them fall into the “bad” end of the spectrum; it’s not so much the carbohydrates that give these foods their unhealthy edge, but the types of fats that come along with them.
2. Good carbs will fill you up – without causing weight gain!
It’s true! Whole grains, fruits and vegetables have their own supply of carbs as well, but rather than being filled with fats, they are high in water and fiber, making them lower in calories.
Think about it: If you compare 100 calories of fat (about 1 tablespoon of oil) and 100 calories of good carbs (brown rice, banana, sweet potato), which fills you up faster and keeps you full for a longer period of time?
3. Low carb diets don’t work long term.
According to a recent study done by Harvard University, 78% of people who were on a low carb diet found themselves stumbling with their diet after two years, while 90% of the others who consumed an adequate amount of carbs in their diet had no problem maintaining their lifestyle.
Your body runs on carbs.
In fact, it CRAVES them. Another study claimed that those women who were on a low carb diet became more likely to binge on fat-laden carbs as compared to those who were on a higher carb diet. Why? The bodies of those women who were limiting their carb intake were literally begging to get the types of carbs they needed in order to function properly!
4. Carbohydrates are good for your health.
Good carbs do a number of positive things for your health (there’s a reason your body wants them so badly). They are capable of preventing constipation, type 2 diabetes and, in addition, they also contain phytochemicals, which help fight other more severe diseases like cancer, metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, etc.
I’m not saying you’re going to get cancer if you limit your carb intake, but consider this: if good carbs are a natural combatant to things like that, then wouldn’t it make more sense to be sure your body was well supplied with such a weapon against disease and things that want to attack your body?
5. Carbs reduce stress levels and make you happier!
One of the greatest reasons people go on diets in general is because they want to feel better. In a recently published study, Australian scientists found that carb rich dieters in comparison to low carb dieters had overall, better mood stability; they were more calm and happy and found themselves living a life that helped make them feel like their best selves. On the other hand, the other group ultimately found themselves feeling tired and stressed out.
The lead researcher of this study, Grant Brinkworth, PhD, concluded that eating carbs releases stress-reducing and mood-regulating chemicals in the brain. High-protein and fatty foods (“bad” carbs) only tend to deplete these substances. So not only do good carbs have physical and emotional benefits, they have mental benefits as well, ultimately making them a good tool for living a well balanced lifestyle.
Lilla Bessenyei is a pharmacist and writer. It has been through her own experience that she realized that health and happiness start with what you put in your body and mind - including your thoughts. She is an avid researchers and has learned a lot about health and medicine. In her studies, she found that cultivating healthy emotions were just as important (if not more so) as a healthy diet. She is a fitness junkie, enjoys the numerous benefits of a vegan diet and enjoys helping people discover true health and happiness.
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