Don't Ditch Carbs
Carbs started to be demonized and low-carb diets have become very popular, but let's not put all the carbs in the same group. It's not about carbs in general, but more about so called good and bad carbs and we need to distinguish between them in order to avoid future health problems. Everything nature creates is complete and perfect. It's when people attempt to outsmart nature that they suffer the consequences. The same principles apply to carbs. Our body immediately recognizes the difference between bad and good carbs. Let's remind ourselves how we recognize one from the other.
Good/complex carbs (legumes, vegetables, whole grains such as brown rice, oats, whole wheat, barley, etc.)
- take longer to break down
- digest slowly, which means our body can use them as energy over several hours and therefore there is a gradual increase in blood sugar (thanks to fiber)
- they are foods that haven't been processed, or processed only minimally, along the way from the source
- they help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, obesity and keep the digestive system healthy (bye bye hemorrhoids)
Bad/refined carbs (white bread, cookies, cakes and other bakery items made with white/processed flour, white rice and some cereal)
- digested rapidly, followed by spikes in the level of blood sugar. These spikes trigger the pancreas to create more insulin that causes the body to store more fat
- they are processed, meaning natural ingredients have been removed or changed during the making of the food (whole grains contain 3 main parts - bran, germ and endosperm. The first two contain most of the grain's nutritional value - fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Unfortunately, These parts are removed during the refining process to increase shelf life)
- they increase the risk of heart disease, risk of chronic inflammation, diabetes and obesity
Weight loss is the primary reason why people choose to go on a low carb diet, but it's difficult to follow this regime for an extended period of time. Additionally, many low carb diets include large amounts of unhealthy fats which increase the risk of heart disease. Numerous studies have confirmed that a diet with a moderate amount of good carbs, such as whole grain products, and fruits and vegetables, is the best diet for long term weight management and overall health.
So be smart, go good carbs!