Carbs get a pretty bad rap from fitness blogs and diet plans the world over. Just one look at an active person’s Facebook feed and you will likely see scores of stories about how carbohydrates lead to weight gain, shorten one’s life expectancy or are responsible for a series of other unwanted side-effects.
For the most part, much of these reports are simple regurgitations of already questionable statements. Statements that, if at all based on any kind of scientific study, are generally based on flawed ones.
But people are always looking for ways to get the most out of their diets, and so often these myths that accumulate into bad dietary advice are taken as gospel. But we need carbohydrates, especially those of us who are active.
So to help you paint a better picture of them in your mind, here is the truth behind some of the most widespread myths about carbs that, for some reason or another, are accepted as absolute truth.
Truth about Carbs
False: Carbs Result in Weight Gain
While you may lose weight from cutting carbs from your diet, you are only doing so because cutting out carbs results in a cut in calories. In fact the weight lost in this way is generally water weight and so doesn’t offer any results in the long run.
Many studies suggest that when it comes to carbs, people are simply having them in portions that are too big. Most of us consume enough carbs in a single meal for our entire daily requirements. That is where the problem sits. In light of this, the average person should be consuming no more than 150 grams of carbohydrates in a day.
False: Carbs Are Carbs Are Carbs…
Saying that all carbohydrates are bad is like saying all people are bad. It simply isn’t true. Like people, you get both good and bad carbs. It is the beneficial ones that you should be concentrating on.
The quality of a carbohydrate is dependent on its fibre content. The more fibre contained in carbs, the slower pace that it is absorbed into your body. This allows that energy to be released over a long period of time. This makes it a priority to take in the right carbs. Instead of sugary processed ones that offer nothing but empty calories, you should be going for wholegrains, starchy vegetables and fresh fruit. This will essentially keep your blood sugar from spiking, which will keep your snack arm holstered.
False: Lowering Your Carb Intake is Good for Your Health
Carbohydrates are essential to a healthy human life. This is all the more important when that person is active as we’ve said before. And so cutting them from your diet is not just unnecessary but it is also a pretty bad idea.
Carbohydrates contain the fibres that your body needs to break down sugars and create useable energy. Without them, a person may suffer blood-sugar irregularities, they will feel constant hunger, and will likely feel tired for a lot of the time. A much better approach is to monitor the quality and the portions of carbs that you take in each day. Substitute empty calories with complex carbs that will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
False: White Foods are Bad for You
While this one may seem true in many cases, it isn’t exactly a universal law. Avoiding processed and refined carbs like white sugar, white rice and maize meal is always a good idea. These are the exact kind of examples of simple, empty-calorie carbs that are mentioned in this article.
Complex carbs like potatoes, which are widely and unfairly classed alongside those carbs mentioned above, are extremely healthy, high in fibre and also contain potassium.
If you think potatoes are the exception here, then consider cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic and leeks; all of which are often given the same bad treatment.
With the right specialised knowledge, as a personal trainer you could use verified nutritional facts to make informed choices about your diet as well as advise others on how to do the same. With a specialised nutrition certificate or Nutrition Diploma from Trifocus Fitness Academy, you can do just that and be accredited for it.
Contact us today or visit our website for additional details on our specialised fitness courses.