Carbohydrates: Fact or Fiction?


Carbohydrates: Fact or Fiction?

We hear that carbohydrates are bad, fattening, cause inflammation and more. Fortunately, most of these statements are not true.

Myth 1: Breads and pasta have carbs so they are bad.
If carbs are the reason that breads and pasta are bad then our beloved kale, antioxidant rich berries, and protein packed milk should be too. Breads and pasta get a bad rap not because of the carbs but because we overeat them. Check out ChooseMyPlate to see an actual oz. of grain compared to a typical serving.

Myth # 2: Simple carbs are the bad ones so avoid foods with simple carbs.
Limiting sweets and desserts is one thing, but to exclude all foods that have simple carbs is another. The truth is that foods like grains, cereals, dairy, fruits, and vegetables contain a mix of simple and complex carbs. They high nutrient content of these foods makes them important to your diet.

Myth # 3: Carbs cause inflammation.
Ironically, the foods that increase inflammation are foods that we should already limit, such as highly-refined products like junk food that have little to offer other than calories. However, a diet consisting of whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables are linked to a decrease in inflammation. Again, it is not the carbs but the quality of the food choices that make a difference.

Myth # 4: Carbs will make you fat.
Weight loss and weight gain is a simple formula. If you eat more calories than you need, you will gain weight. If you eat less calories than you need. you will lose weight. If you eat more calories than you need by consuming too many carbs or fat or protein you will also gain weight. It is the excess calories that causes weight gain. Plain and simple.

-Nick Fischer, RD, LDN

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