There are so many myths regarding food and what’s good and what’s bad.
Carbohydrates, known as carbs for short, often get a bad rap. But are they really an ‘evil’ food group?
Perhaps it is convenient to give carbs a bad name.
Diets such as the Atkins claim carbs leads to high blood sugar and insulin levels, with the inevitable consequence of weight gain.
The solution, according to these diets, is simple.
Reduce the carb intake and insulin levels will fall and everything will be fine.
By removing carbs obviously our calories decline. This leads to a reduction in body weight.
Sounds like a plan?
Far from it.
The human body cannot function without a certain level of carbs as it fuels the brain and all muscle contraction.
Starving the body of carbs causes it to break down protein, or muscle tissue known as ketogenesis.
This process explains why the human body experiences muscle wastage when it is in starvation mode.
Since muscle as opposed to fat, is tissue that actually burns calories, this process slows down the metabolism and increases the likelihood of gaining all the weight you lost on a low-carb diet.
Simple and refined carbs such as cereal, pasta, breads, chips, soda, chocolate, pastries and alcohol. A general rule of thumb is that if it crumbles, it’s a refined carb.
These ‘empty’ calories can cause weight gain and also alter your mood and affects swings in your blood sugar.
You can wholeheartedly consider these as an ‘evil’ food group.
Complex carbs like brown rice, legumes, whole grain, fruits, vegetables and oats should make up the majority of your daily carbohydrate intake.
These foods are rich in fibre so will improve digestion.
They also score low on the Glycemic Index meaning they are slowly release energy helping you avoid cravings and crashes.
So do not be afraid of eating carbohydrate! Just make sure you choose complex and unrefined carbs whenever you can.