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The Truth About Carbs

The Truth About Carbs

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that Americans are in the midst of a low-carbohydrate craze!  Basic scientific truths, like the fact that carbs are actually important for your health, have been lost in all the marketing hoopla.

Carbohydrates are fuel for the human body; the simplest form is glucose, or sugar. In short, carbohydrates are essential to the body’s proper mental and physical functioning.

According to the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, you need a minimum of 130 grams of carbohydrates per day for healthy functioning.

If you don’t get enough, your mood, memory and sleep patterns are likely to be negatively affected, since carbs help create the brain chemical serotonin, which plays a key role in these processes.

As many people will attest low carb diets do help you lose weight rather quickly. It’s highly likely that you will eventually hit a serious plateau or put the lost weight back on. At first, the cannibalization of muscle mass causes you to lose water weight, but less muscle means fewer calories burned and an inevitable slowdown of your metabolism.

The packaging terms “low-carb” and “low net carbs” (carbs able to be digested by the body) have no official definitions and have not been approved by the FDA, unlike, for example, the terms “low-fat” and “nonfat.”  To create foods lower in carbohydrates than their regular versions, companies simply subtract fiber and sugar alcohol content, which aren’t really absorbed into the body anyway. One slice of low-carb Atkins bread has 60 calories and 8 grams of carbs, while one piece of regular “light” bread has 2 more grams of carbohydrates, but 10 fewer calories.

The types of carbs you put into your body do make a difference for your health. Wholesome carbs have more fiber, which helps keep your blood sugar levels steady, leaves you feeling full longer, and aids in digestion.

As with any food, if you eat too much, you will gain weight. But in and of themselves, carbs are not fattening.

Look great, feel great

I lost 30 pounds in three months. I’m not an expert, but I do speak from experience. Most of this, I learned on my own or through close friends and family members.

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