SHOULD YOU OMIT CARBS FROM YOUR DIET?
There are so many different types of fad diets swirling in the news these days. Most of them have become so popular they’ve even made their way into supermarkets with special packaging and ingredients. But one macro that seems to be the favorite to be hated and least likely to be embraced is the carbohydrate. Some diets claim they’re necessary, whereas others cut them out completely. So how do you decide which side of the line you’ll be on?
When considering our diets, there are macro and micronutrients that make up the composition of our food. The three macronutrients are Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates; whereas micronutrients make up necessary vitamins and minerals found in food that the body needs. You may already have guessed that macronutrients are more vital for sustaining life than micronutrients, and therefore must be consumed in that way.
Knowing now that macro and micro nutrients are essential to the body and should all be consumed in specific quantities for optimal health, why would anyone want to completely omit one? These days it seems that all three macronutrients have their time in the spotlight as to which is most and least popular. However, what is really being said is that SPECIFIC macronutrients are being brought up into question: animal vs plant protein, saturated vs unsaturated fats, and yes simple vs complex carbohydrates. Each of these has a specific purpose within the body and can be utilized in each way. Simple carbohydrates are best used for quick jolts of energy; think your pastas, bread, rice, white potatoes, and sugary desserts; whereas complex carbohydrates last longer within the body. Complex carbohydrates are foods such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, root vegetables, and oat bran. These types of carbohydrates are best for long sustained energy and should be eaten to keep the body from feeling “low” or tired.
Now that you understand the difference, the important differentiation is knowing whether you should be consuming simple or complex carbohydrates. Does it really make sense to cut them out altogether? Probably not, because you’d be cutting out healthy, nutritional foods such as vegetables! What you should be omitting is the over indulgence of simple carbohydrates that are more likely to make you binge and overeat. They’re high in sugar, and are best used for quick jolts of energy, and not to be eaten when you know you’ll have a long break between meals. Think back to a morning when you had a donut for breakfast, and then to another time when you perhaps had oatmeal. If you can’t remember for two days in a row try to eat one and then the other, and compare the two.
The days you include more complex carbohydrates you’re likely to notice that you have more energy throughout the day with less “slumps”. On the morning when you have the sugary breakfast such as a donut, you’ll find yourself reaching for your lunch by 11 am. When you take the time to notice how the body reacts to each food you’re eating you can be more conscious of what’s going into your body. Does it really make sense to omit an entire macronutrient? Or is it more logical to reconsider and evaluate the types of carbohydrates you’re eating?
Let me know if you have had success with omitting carbs completely, or if you’re more apt to use them in a healthier way, as the body was intended to eat them. As always, reach out with any questions or concerns!