Carbohydrates are treated like the outsider of macronutrients. Most people who aren’t well versed on the importance of carbohydrates assume that they will lose weight if they give them up. We’ve already talked about protein, so let’s look at another important part of the puzzle: carbohydrates.
Truthfully, you probably will lose weight if you give up carbs. The reason? Most Americans are eating diets full of simple carbohydrates that turn into sugar when metabolized; your body burns this sugar for energy. When you stop eating carbohydrates your body starts burning fat for energy. That leads to weight loss. This is the principle that low-carb diets are born from. Turn your body into a fat burner and you’re on the fast track to slimming down.
But is a long term, no carbohydrate lifestyle sustainable for all of us? I know that it’s not a sustainable lifestyle for me.
My coworker likes to quote me as saying “a meal isn’t nearly as satisfying without a good piece of bread.” It’s true. I 100% feel this way. There is something insanely satisfying about bread and carbohydrate side dishes and that’s one of the reasons you should eat your carbs – your body needs and wants them.
Carbohydrates come in three forms:
- Sugar (or a simple carbohydrate): simple carbohydrates are most often found in processed foods but there are places where simple carbohydrates occur naturally, like milk and fruit.
- Starch (or a complex carbohydrate): corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, yams, breads, pasta and rice.
- Fiber (another complex carbohydrate): beans, lentils, peas, artichoke, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raspberries, blackberries, and oatmeal.
Let me be clear, I’m not saying you need to eat more simple carbohydrates. Despite giving you a nice boost of energy, simple carbohydrates lack the fiber, minerals and nutrients that make complex carbs ideal.
You Feel Good When You Eat Carbs