Nutrition

The truth about carbs and low carb diets

Lara Coutinho - Ernährung
Foto:719171716 / shutterstock.com

Low carb diets are commonly known, but not all carbs are created equal

The new year has begun and all we hear is resolution talk and diet advice. By now, we certainly all know of Low Carb. Today I’d like to share with you, how to avoid common mistakes and teach you, how important carbs really are for us.

Why it is important to not give up on carbs:

Carbohydrates are excellent and vital sources of energy, which increase our activity. “Good” carbs contain fiber, an essential aid to a functioning digestion.

But be aware:It is important to differentiate between different kind of carbs. You should focus on eating mostly “good” carbohydrates.

But what are “good” carbs?

“Good” carbs are also known as complex carbohydrates. They don’t stress the body, but help him with digestion and to burn fat.

These carbs improve our sense of satiety and keep our blood sugar at a consistent level. Their higher nutrient content in comparison to “bad” carbs is also beneficial to our health. We can find them in vegetables and legumes.

Here an overview of complex carbs:

  • Green vegetables such as spinach
  • Whole grain products such as pasta or bread
    Important fact: Most dark bread is really white bread with a fake tan and therefore not a good choice. Therefore, make sure to avoid wheat flour and caramel syrup (the mentioned fake tan).
    Real bread doesn’t need more than water, whole grain flour, yeast, and sourdough.
  • Nuts such as walnuts and pistachios
  • Fruit such as bananas and grapes: Bananas are a great choice for athletes as they are high in potassium and an excellent snack option that controls blood sugar levels and protects from sudden hunger pangs
  • Rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes: According to different scientific studies, the regular consumption of sweet potatoes raises vitamin A levels of your blood. Some studies even suggest that sweet potatoes are a better source of bioavailable beta-carotene than green leafy vegetables.
  • Beans, lentils, chickpeas, bulgur, quinoa, and millet: Quinoa is a carb source with an extremely low glycemic index, which means it doesn’t drive up your blood sugar levels. Quinoa is gluten free and a great source of protein. This is where you can learn more about Quinoa and gluten-free foods.
  • Oatmeal: Oats are amongst the healthiest and best grains and even smallest amounts are enough to take in an impressive amount of nutrients.
  • Soy products

Did you know that a higher whole grain consumption is linked to less overweight, less diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels?

Here a couple of facts to keep in mind:

On the other side, you should try to avoid processed foods that are high in sugar, such as white flour products, cornflakes, soft drinks, fast food etc.

Be extra careful when picking your drinks: Many contain extra sugar. These foods are referred to as “bad” since they barely contain any fiber or nutrients and provide empty calories that will be stored as fat.

High blood sugar levels make you feel anything but energetic, instead, you’ll be constantly tired and sluggish. The added sugar promotes excess weight gain and common diseases.

About 80 percent of all illnesses in the western world are caused by the wrong diet. Main contributors are refined carbs such as the mentioned superfine flours and industrial sugar.

Low Carb - our conclusion:

We can agree with the idea of Low Carb, as far as avoiding bad carb sources is concerned.

But completely giving up carbohydrates is an unwise idea. And by the way, a meal high in carbs is the same at 3 pm as it is at 11 pm. 

So forget the sentence: “After 6 pm I can’t have carbs” - it’s complete nonsense.

Did you ever completely give up carbs or is that not your thing?

Feel welcome to share your story with us! We are excited to learn about your experience!

Best,

Lara

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