4 Carbohydrate Myths

There are many misconceptions about carbohydrates including it being perceived as the bad guy. When you prioritize healthy, whole-food sources of carbs like whole-grain bread, brown rice, sweet potato, whole-grain pasta and potato, you feel satisfied thanks to the fibre content. This will also help you experience fewer cravings for sweets. Cutting back on carbs too drastically can lead to low energy levels and cause you to overeat.  

Myth #1 

Carbs Cause Fat GainCarbohydrates are not more easily stored as fat than the other  two macronutrients, protein and fat. Carbohydrates in their most broken-down form are sugar, which is extremely easy for the body to break down. Before you eat a cracker, it must be swallowed, digestive enzymes in saliva have already begun the process of chemical breakdown. In fact, because the molecular makeup of a carbohydrate is so easy to break down, they are needed most in the body as a primary fuel for the brain, muscles and practically every organ. 

If there are excess sugars in the body, three things can happen: 

  1. Your body thinks it is a waste of energy to create a storage site, so it increases its metabolic rate enough to burn them. 
  2. They will be stored as glycogen in muscle tissue or the liver to be used for energy during exercise. 
  3. Your body will begin the process of lipogenesis or fat storage. 

    The third option is the most energy-consuming, so your body will not readily choose this option unless it must. This tends to happen when you have eaten significantly more food than your body can use.  

Myth #2  

All Carbs Are EqualA lot of people think of bread and pasta when they think of carbs, but carbs come in many forms, and some are more healthful than others. Often, when someone is “cutting carbs,” they really mean eliminating certain foods from their diet. Studies have linked consumption of wholesome carbs with healthier and longer lives. 

Pulses, yogurt, milk, fruit, veggies and whole grains all contain varying amounts of carbohydrates, while it’s a good idea to limit overly processed carbs such as white bread, pasta and desserts.  

Myth #3  

Cutting Carbs Means You Will Burn More Fat - Another common reason people cut carbs when trying to lose weight is that they will burn more fat as a result. It is true your body can run on a mostly-fat diet. But that does not necessarily mean you are burning more body fat.  

The body is most often burning fat for fuel. In gaps between meals, and during everyday activities, fat is being burned, and this process is more efficient if the cells have stored a little bit of fuel from carbohydrates, called glycogen. If glucose (sugar) from carbohydrates is not available for this process, the body breaks down protein instead of fat to create it, which is inefficient. Thus, if you want to burn body fat, having some carbohydrates in your diet is ideal.  

Myth #4  

Carbs Are Not Good For Your Health - Carbs can be good for your health in ways you might not expect. Complex carbs play an essential role in heart health and diabetes. The fibre found in carbs has a positive effect on cholesterol and can help regulate blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day. 

 

 


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