Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of a low carb diet. Ever since the Atkins diet, on to the Paleo diet, people have put carbs into the evil category. But, is a low carb diet the way to go? Is it for you? We’re constantly told to reduce our carb intake because it turns into sugar and into fat, but what about the “good” carbs? Do they even exist and how do they help?
There Is Such Thing As Eating Good Carb
If you’re in an intense workout routine and you completely eliminate good carbs, you’ll find yourself lacking the energy you had before. Carbohydrates also protect your muscles, because when you starve your body from the good carbs, the muscles will start looking at other sources to feed and grow, and it will start to burn its own tissue.
The secret for a low carb diet that doesn’t affect your energy is to look for the complex carbohydrates that will make your body burn fat as it’s processing them. Complex carbs are found in vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Simple carbohydrates are usually added sugars or flour from food manufacturers, and they can also be found in milk and fruits. This is not to say that if you’re exercising everyday, having a glass of milk or 2-3 fruits a is going to hinder your weight loss, but if you add processed sugars and flour to your diet then it will add up. The complex carbs help provide energy and tissue strength to your body; keep consuming those with foods rich in protein and fiber and you should keep getting better performance and endurance while seeing your body get leaner and healthier.
Low Carb Diet Or No Carb Diet?
The Atkins or the Paleo diet advocate that all carbs are bad and that you should have any fruit (Atkins) and eliminate all flour and some diets even eliminate all legumes and certain nuts and seeds. A no carb diet will have a hard long term effect on your body. Perhaps it will be beneficial to treat certain illnesses, but talk to any athlete and they’ll tell you they eat a plate of pasta when they’re training.
How To Limit Bad Carbs
If you are very prone to choose processed carbs like white bread, white pasta and processes sugars, try starting replacing certain foods with better ones. It’s hard not to have pancakes or waffles for breakfast because they feel so comforting, but try to make some scrambled eggs instead. The night before, chop up some veggies and leave them in the fridge to sautee in the morning with the eggs.
Replace white bread with wheat bread and have an avocado toast with smoked salmon or some leftover meat from the day before.
For lunch and dinner, go for a plate full of variety and color: a meat, veggies and a carb, like brown rice or sweet potato. Stay away from heavy carbs during dinner, like white pasta or heavily creamy meals as they will over stimulate your digestive system before going to sleep.
A Low Carb Diet Is Not For Everyone
Always check with nutrition professionals before changing your diet and eating habits. You might need more or less sugar than what articles online are telling you, or you might actually need a very low carb diet if you’re struggling with diabetes or another illness. But if you’re in the clear and working out a lot, don’t be afraid of the carbs, they can be your energy booster when you least expect it! Just be smart and don’t over do sugars and fat!