Carbs have a bad rap. People have been led to believe that carbs make you fat. They’re convinced that if they cut out carbs, their excess fat will melt off and optimal health is assured.
In reality, this strategy can harm your health and undermine your weight loss goals. Knowledge is key to optimal health:
‘Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. -Proverbs 16:22 (KJV).
God desires you to know the best way to care for your temples. So to help you make informed decisions about your food choices and learn how to achieve optimal health, here is a primer on carbohydrates.
Let’s start with a basic question: What is a carbohydrate?
You probably already know that carbohydrates are grains and starches, but they are also, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Carbohydrates comprise the largest of the three food groups, called macronutrients, that our bodies needs to function effectively. Protein and fat are the other two. Carbs are the largest nutrient group because they are critical to your health. Here are 2 reasons you need carbohydrates:
- Your body needs and prefers carbohydrates for fuel. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. Your body converts carbohydrates into glucose for energy, and it does so efficiently. Because carbs provide fuel, they should comprise 45-65% of what you eat each day – even if you are managing diabetes. When you cut back your carb intake, like with a low carb diet (think Atkins or Paleo), your body is forced to use protein as a fuel source. This is not ideal because your body wants to use protein for tasks like building DNA, repairing skin, and strengthening your immune system. Moreover, converting protein to glucose is a much more arduous task and not the best way to spend your body’s resources.
- You can’t get fiber anywhere else. Carbohydrates are the only game in town when it comes to fiber because only plants contain fiber. Fiber plays a critical role in your body. It helps with digestion and elimination, maintains blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, and keeps you feeling full – which can help in weight loss. Studies also show that a high fiber diet can help prevent colon and other cancers. To reap these benefits, you need 25-35 grams of fiber a day. Now you don’t have to eat a lot of grain products to reach that target; lots of fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber. Beans, apples, raspberries, broccoli, and avocados are just a few great sources. Given the healthy benefits of eating high-fiber containing carbohydrates, it is easy to see that a low-carb diet undermines optimal health.
I work with my individual and group program clients to create balanced food plans that incorporate healthy carbs as well as proteins and fats. They love their plans because they get to eat a variety of tasty foods that energize and nourish them. Want support creating a food plan that will help you achieve your weight loss goals? Visit my website, weightlosstransformation.com, or call (855) 958-9958 for information about my:
- WLT Warriors Community
- Weight Loss Transformation VIP Program
- Take Control Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes Programs
In my next blog post, I’ll give you one more reason why you need carbs, the best carbs for weight loss, and how to fit them into your weight loss/health plan. Stay blessed!
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