This may sound like a made up word but reality is for the past several decades low-carb diets have been main stream…anyone recognize the name Atkins?
Sure, at first if you cut out carbohydrates you will lose weight. However, in the long run it is probably not fat you are losing. Chances are the weight you are losing from restricting your carbohydrate intake is muscle. This muscle loss can also be accompanied with brain-fog, depression and bloating, just to name a few.
Restricting carbohydrates leads to muscle loss because the amount of available glucose from the food you’ve consumed and the stored form, glycogen, gets used up. Your body, still needing a source of energy, reacts by consuming the next available thing, muscle.
Yes, your body is an efficient machine that uses all macronutrients: carbs, fat and protein. However, when it comes to carbohydrates the other two do not compare. Carbohydrates are our number one source of Glucose and our bodies top choice for energy because it is the easiest to digest. Our body breaks carbohydrates down into the usable sugar form which easily enters the bloodstream and can reach every cell of our body. It’s the fastest and most efficient way to fuel up!
Other awesome benefits of carbohydrates include…
Tryptophan – aka the feel good chemical. Found in carbohydrates. That’s why when you drastically reduce your intake of carbohydrates you may begin to feel “blue” or have symptoms of depression.
Fiber – necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption, helps fight off bloat.
Neurotransmitters – necessary chemicals for proper brain function. They too require glucose and not having enough will limit their production and can lead to “brain-fog”
One quick reminder before you hit the bakery….they are two types of carbohydrates. Simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates, typically found in sugary substances and super quick to digest. They are not known to help fight off hunger and tend to come packed with added sugar, fat and calories (ex: Brownies, cake, etc)
Complex carbohydrates, these are the good ones! Longer chains of sugar means it takes longer for your body to break them down. They come packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Adding these into your diet will give you ample energy as well as keep you full between meals (Ex: whole grains, green vegetables, beans/legumes, potatoes)