Facts you never knew about carbs
You probably think that avoiding carbs, all kinds of carbs, will help you to lose weight. But that’s not true. Actually you need carbs in your diet, but “good” complex carbs. And here are some interesting facts about carbs you might never knew.
1. You can stay lean on high-carbs
You can look at people in Asia, who stay lean on a high-carb diet where white rice is a foundation of their diet. So if you include “good” complex carbs into your diet and are physically active, you won’t gain extra weight. Our sedentary modern lifestyle is a bigger problem than carbs.
2. All food contains carbs
There is no food without carbs. For example, celery contains just 2g of carbs per stalk, and milk – 10g per 200ml glass. And if you see a snack claiming “zero carbs”…well, you should stay away from such “food”.
3. Indulge in your sweet cravings early
If you eat your favorite sugary food in the morning, it will prevent you from eating it later. In the first half of the day (till noon), the metabolism works better and faster, so all these calories will be processed into energy, not fat. But along with carbs include some protein in your breakfast, too, so you feel more satiated.
4. Carbs are food for brains
According to The Quarterly Review of Biology, carbs help fuel our powers of cognition. Our brain uses up to 60% of the body’s blood-glucose, and carbs make this energy more readily available. So you need carbs in order to your brains work more effectively and intense.
5. Low-carb diets don’t hurt kidneys
According to a review in Nutrition & Metabolism, a high protein intake has no adverse effects in healthy people. And if you lower carbs level in your diet, it even can help your kidneys heal.
6. Sugar addiction is not a myth
Food can be considered a drug, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In a study some overweight men consumed high-GI carbs and they experienced activation in their “nucleus accumbens”, or “pleasure center” – a brain part triggered by narcotics, alcohol and compulsive behaviours like gambling. So you might want to refuse consuming sugar, or at least significantly lower its quantities in your diet.
7. Low-carb diets take time to work
Glucose is a main fuel source for your brain, so when you cut out carbs you block its supply. And then it takes the brain 3 weeks to adapt to a new situation and start using alternative fuel sources. So if you have some big brain work ahead, opt for complex carbs in your diet.
8. Go for a protein/carb post-workout snack
After a good intense workout you need to eat something that will help you rehydrate, while also send essential amino acids to your muscles. Your body’s ability to absorb protein increases by 50% after a workout, so eat something protein/carb rich.
9. Occasional cutting on carbs can reduce cancer risks
According to the American Association for Cancer Research, if you cut carbs in your diet from time to time, it will reduce risks of cancer-causing insulin spikes. Two-three days a week without carbs will be enough to see a difference.
10. Carbs help you live longer
According to several studies, people who live in the world’s “Blue Zones” – such as Sardinia, where the population have a longer-than-average lifespan – traditionally eat carb-heavy diets. The foundation of their diet is vegetables and grains.
11. Carb-cutting doesn’t mean losing weight
When you don’t eat enough carbs (again, we are talking only about “good” complex carbs, not cheeseburgers), you don’t get a lot of nutrients your body needs, let alone enough energy. Your diet should be well balances with enough protein, complex carbs and “good” fats.
12. Carbs boost your immunity
When you eat carbs before a workout, it reduces odds of sickness by supercharging your levels of cytokines – signalling molecules that regulate immunity. Opt for slow-burning carbs such as oats.
13. Sweeteners aren’t the solution
According to a research of Harvard School of Public Health, artificial sugars worsen your brain’s ability to estimate how many calories are in the food you’re eating. So your body will still be craving those calories. And all these sweeteners are full of chemicals that you definitely don’t need.