The real truth about carbohydrates

On the one hand, carbohydrates are good for our bodies – are crucial for providing energy required for activity. On the other hand, are on the “black list” of foods that should be avoided if you want to lose weight and eat healthy. What is true at the end? Whether carbohydrates are good or bad for our body?

“Our body breaks down carbohydrates and converts them into sugar, or glucose. And then use it not only for immediate energy and raises the level of sugar in the blood; but also for future use, so stores in the liver and muscles,” said Amy Shapiro, founder of the Real Nutrition NYC.

Do we really need carbohydrates?

According to Amy, our bodies need carbs not only for energy but also for brain function that drives sugar.

“When the body lacks carbohydrates, your body starts to burn fat in order to obtain the necessary energy – which is the basis for the Atkins diet – however, our brains do not work on the fat. He needs glucose or sugar to normal function,” says Amy; adding that complete avoidance of carbohydrates can cause you to feel sluggish, tired, depressed and sullen.

Foods that contain carbs are well known – such as cereals, bread and pasta. Also fruits, vegetables, and even milk and sweets have carbs in them. The difference between whole grain foods and their derivatives is that this first feature higher nutritional value, but not free (and useless) carbs.

For example, one banana contains a half gram fiber and 60 calories, while a cup of berries contains 8 grams of fiber and only 65 calories – both products have the same amount of carbohydrates per serving, so it is certainly a better choice than a bag of pretzels, which do not offer anything in terms of vitamins, minerals or fiber.

Pros and cons of carbohydrates?

Unfortunately, the question whether carbohydrates are good or bad for health is not so simple. The same aspects that carbohydrates provide a good voice, and give them negative traits.

The real truth about carbohydrates

“All carbohydrates are broken down to sugars. The difference is that unrefined carbohydrates and whole grains have more fiber, vitamins and minerals than refined. But why is it important? Complex carbohydrates contain higher levels of fiber; take longer to break down and do not raise the blood sugar level so quickly.

Therefore, they need more time to break down, as opposed to those that do not have fiber. The body needs more time to digest it, and then evenly distributes the sugar in the bloodstream. But refined carbohydrates suddenly and rapidly increases sugar level; followed by the equally rapid decline, which states that we reach instant energy boost of energy, “says Amy.

Just think about what happens when you eat, for example, the whole bag of jellybeans. “Candies give you a quick energy because they are very simple carbohydrates. But your body will have a higher level of insulin in the blood; it facilitates the storage of fat, “says Amy.

Carbohydrates – need or addiction?

Studies show that carbohydrates, like sugar, can cause addiction as cocaine. Sugar activates the same area of the brain that activates drug and alcohol, wherein the releasing larger amounts of dopamine. As its level gradually falls, there is a growing desire for an ingredient that will cause the same reaction.

However, it is not just about the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat. A large number of scientists claims that, as early as possible during the day you eat carbohydrates (either free or complex); the greater the chance that their ingredients are used for what they are, and are intended: energy. If you eat carbs before you go to sleep, you risk that instead of the energy it converts into fat and stores as well.

Is that why you should completely eliminate carbohydrates?

Not really. Experts and their research show that long-term avoidance of consumption of carbohydrates can cause a range of health problems. A study published in the journal PLoS ONE indicates that the termination of carbohydrate intake can increase the chance of death and up to 30 percent.

The conclusion is that, if you dramatically reduce your intake of carbohydrates, and therefore different types of fiber, vitamins and minerals, the body will bring larger amounts of animal protein and saturated fat.


As long as we want to give us a say whether carbohydrates are ultimately good or bad for the health, the answer is very complex.

The body needs energy to enable it to function. And carbs are excellent for the production of long-term and short-term energy. But if you eat them in excessive amounts or one wrong kind, you’ll easily feel tired, sullen, weak, but also get overweight.

When it comes to health and monitoring the amount of carbs you eat into the body, it’s essential to strike a balance. In this case it’s necessary to increase the intake of leafy and other vegetables; especially if you eat foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, to maintain balance.

Since there is no single carbohydrate that meets the needs of all people, Shapiro suggests that daily eating fruits and vegetables supplies body with a number of nutrients, fiber and carbohydrates.

When it comes to processed products, be sure to read the label. White bread, whole grain should have at least three grams of fiber per slice. But as the first ingredient should be given 100 percent whole wheat or whole grains cereal. Cereal should have about five grams of fiber per serving and less than eight grams of sugar.

Do yourself a favor and completely avoid completely “empty” snacks, such as pretzels, cookies and sweets that don’t contain fiber.

“For our clients we suggest that about 40 percent of the daily dose of calories entries by complex carbohydrates. This may sound like a lot and it’s true – making them less you eat, the easier you lose weight. But the fact is that if you focus on the good types and portion sizes, carbohydrate would be good for you. And also will become part of a healthy diet, “says Amy Shapiro.

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