Before you start reading this, go grab that bag of potatoes or loaf of bread in your kitchen and hug it tightly as you continue with this article. In addition, take every thought you have ever had about carbs being bad for you and throw it out the window—literally, maybe aim for that bush across the street.
Thankfully, people are beginning to understand why the highly coveted low-carb diet is absolutely horrible. A carbohydrate is an essential macronutrient that our bodies need to be fed if we want to function properly. Carbs are vital for creating energy and can even help prevent weight gain. What sounds so terrible about that!? Bring me those baguettes.
It’s important to note the different kinds of carbs; there are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Try to steer away from simple carbs as they don't quite do the job as well. Because carbs are such an effective energy source, and not to mention the brain and muscles’ preferred energy source, it’s important to consume the right amount of carbs.
If the body is low on its core source of energy, its natural reaction is to begin reserving its energy. Not feeding energy into your body? Don’t expect your body to release much energy in return.
Ah, energy, the main reason why we need to consume carbs. The brain uses 20% of the body’s energy, which is more than any other organ. Since the brain is essentially the engine that helps the rest of the body run smoothly, it is important that it gets fed a sufficient amount of energy.
When a carbohydrate gets broken down to glucose, the brain is being fed the best kind of fuel possible. So when you decide to forgo that large bowl of pasta for a bland piece of grilled chicken, your brain becomes deficient of its best source of energy and turns to a process that is pretty much like having your body run on “survival mode.”
If you’ve ever tried to limit your carb intake and ended up binging on every edible thing in sight, it’s not necessarily because you have little self-control, a big part of it is just your body missing all of those fabulous carbs.
I’m assuming the negative stigma around carbohydrates stems from people associating carbs with glucose, glucose with sugar, and sugar with weight gain. Although this isn’t entirely false, the process is a lot more complex.
When your body isn’t receiving its main source of calories from carbs, it is instead doing so from fat (e.g. meat and dairy). So when people embark on this low-carb diet, also famously synonymous with the “Atkins diet,” they end up feeding their body more fat. Eat fat to lose fat? Raise your hand if this doesn’t sound counterintuitive to you.
If you zoned out five words into this article but are somehow still here, just remember that if you feed your body fat, the fat will remain as fat, but if you feed your body carbs, the carbs will burn off as energy. Now how much more love do you feel for those potatoes or that loaf of bread in your arms? So get out there and carb the f*ck up!