Carbohydrates are important food groups that provide us with energy. They make up a huge chunk of our daily meals. However, these energy fuels are considered foes of dieters-apparently! Carbs have gained a notorious reputation among the trendy diets. But are they harmful or helpful? Let’s have a look at some facts and find out.
Carbs are brain food!
Unlike other organs that can make-do without carbs, the brain almost exclusively requires glucose to perform its functions. It is also the organ responsible for most glucose utilisation. (talk about food for thought..)
Carbs can save your muscles.
During long periods of starvation, muscle mass is broken down to provide energy for the body, especially the brain. Carbohydrate consumption can prevent that from happening. Looks like carbs are good for brains and brawn!
You can’t totally avoid carbs!
Jargons like zero-carbs or no-carbs diet are commonly used in the fitness industry. However, no food is completely devoid of carbohydrates. (Not even your celery stalks!)
Carbs hold water-literally!
Carbohydrates hold water in your body. 1 g of carbohydrates holds approximately 3 g of water in the body. So when you cut down on carbs, you initially lose water weight.
Who’s the real enemy?
So far, it sounds like carbs are not all that bad, right? So why do most diets suggest cutting down on them? The real enemy of weight loss is a category called refined carbohydrates. This includes sugary cereals, pastries, pasta, white rice, etc. These can be replaced with whole-grain foods, fruits and veggies. Pro tip: If you’re on a diet: maybe have the cherry on top and not the actual cake!
We all have special needs.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ideal carbohydrate intake. The amount can vary according to factors like age, sex, health, and intention to lose weight. It must be correlated and calculated based on your daily caloric intake.
With these facts, we can safely conclude that carbohydrates are important for our bodies. However, correct food choices can go a long way in preserving our health, and not turn carbs into our foes.
1. Carbohydrates Accessed from https://medlineplus.gov/carbohydrates.html Accessed on 25th March 2021.
2. What Is a Zero-Carb Diet, and What Foods Can You Eat? Accessed from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/no-carb-diet#weight-loss Accessed on 25th March 2021.
3. What do carbohydrates do? Accessed from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/function-of-carbohydrates Accessed on 25th March 2021.
4. Tips At Tech: Carbohydrates Accessed from: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/hospitality/pdf/SmartChoices2011_Carbs.pdf Accessed on 26th March 2021