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The Demonization of Carbs

Are Carbs bad for you? Pop culture has a lot of very emotionally driven opinions on nutrition. “Fats make you fat”, “carbs make you fat”, “protein gives you cancer” and the list of claims goes on. This post is going to do something unheard of; Make nutrition simple for you. Ready? Let’s go.

What to eat:

If you want a nutritious and healthy diet, eat a well rounded whole food diet. Eat a balanced amount of calories from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and get them from non-processed sources. Practically speaking, the more processed a food is, the less you should eat it. If you don’t know where it came from or don’t recognize the food source, probably don’t eat it.

When foods are highly processed, like most things you’ll find in a gas station, many healthy aspects of the food get stripped away and separated from other compounds that help them do their job. Fruit’s are better than a candy bar because they have vitamins, minerals, and fiber!

I like to talk about carbohydrates especially because they get picked on a lot. This is because carb bullies do not discuss the spectrum between a complex carbohydrate and a simple sugar. High loads of simple sugars (A pint of Ben and Jerry’s) spikes your blood sugar which creates a large insulin response that results in fat storage among other things. Meanwhile, natural complex carbs such as legumes and vegetables take longer to digest and give you long lasting energy that you need without hurting you.

Do you need energy from carbs specifically? Yes, absolutely. In fact, your brain alone uses about 20% of your daily calorie requirement in the form of glucose only. It is the only energy that can effectively cross the blood brain barrier. Aside from merely using your brain, the more intense the physical activity you perform the more you use carbs for energy. No carbs in liver or muscle storage means that you get crappy workouts and have brain fog all day. Get your carbohydrates, but get them from good sources.

Now if you wanted to say that highly processed sugar (simple carbohydrates) are the devil, I'll hop on board, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. We need carbs, just as we need our fats and protein. So next time you get concerned because another fad ad is telling you that you have to choose keto or death, or that carbs = obesity, save your money and hold onto your piece of mind as you cook up that well rounded meal.

Lastly, as always, actionable tips.

  • Be strong when you’re at the grocery store because avoiding oreos at home 20x a day is much harder than choosing not to leave home to get a snack.

  • Find recipes to make veggies and the good stuff taste better (see our 35 recipes in a prior blog post).

  • Set a simple sugar max daily goal such as 30g’s per day and track it!

  • Talk to your loved ones about not bringing the devil (simple sugars) into your home.

We hope this specific article helps you as you DEFY THE ODDS!

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