Reasons To Eat Carbs

6 Reasons To Eat Carbs

Many people think that cutting out carbs is the key to weight loss, but the truth is that we NEED carbs for our bodies and minds to function properly.

Of course, we can do without pastries, cakes, and refined white bread, but whole-grain carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, brown rice, quinoa, fruits, and vegetables should always be a part of your diet. Here are six great reasons why you should eat carbs.

1. Carbs Give You Energy

A lack of energy makes it hard for us to exercise, and feeling tired can lead to making bad decisions when it comes to choosing what to eat, so maintaining good energy levels is crucial to your health and weight.

While refined carbs like cakes, white bread, and pasta spike blood sugar levels and cause an energy slump, whole-grain carbs like brown rice, whole-grain bread, and barley release energy slowly into the body, meaning your blood sugar levels will remain steady as your body is supplied with the energy it needs.

Whole grain carbs are a great source of iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, all of which are critical in maintaining energy levels. Many of us are already missing out on many important nutrients, especially magnesium, so cutting out good food sources of these vitamins is a bad idea.

What’s more, carbs are your body’s preferred fuel for exercise, including both endurance training and resistance training. Protein and fats give us energy, too, but carbs are the number one source.

Cutting out carbs will see your energy levels drop dramatically, and your ability to produce force and power will decrease, meaning that your workouts will suffer, and so will your results.

2. Carbs Reduce Bloating

People often attribute bloating to carbohydrates when carbohydrates actually help to reduce bloating. This is because many carbohydrates contain dietary fiber, which is an indigestible complex carbohydrate.

Good carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, contain a lot of fiber, which helps keep your bowel movements regular. That means that you’re less likely to feel puffy because your body will naturally eliminate waste more efficiently.

Furthermore, increasing fiber intake has been shown to help with weight loss. Fiber keeps you feeling full and levels off your blood sugar levels, helping you to avoid cravings, so it’s a good weight loss tip to get the recommended 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.

3. Carbs Are Brain Food

It’s not just our bodies that benefit from carbs; if you gave into the Atkins fad or tried out the Paleo diet, you may have noticed the flu-like brain fog that resulted from the low-carb trend. This is because your brain runs on glucose, and we get glucose from carbs.

If you don’t get enough carbs in your diet, your ability to think, learn, and remember things will suffer as the neurotransmitters in your brain will not have enough glucose to synthesize properly.

Medical studies have supported this effect; one study from Tufts University found that participants who eliminated carbs from their diet for a week scored significantly lower on tests of working memory (such as remembering what you were about to do) and visuospatial memory (remembering locations on a map) than other participants who followed a diet which incorporated healthy carbs.

4. Carbs Are Good For Your Heart

Research shows that whole-grain carbohydrates, like breads, pasta, and rice, help reduce the chance of heart disease. Studies have also found that increasing your soluble fiber intake (a type of fiber found in carb-rich foods like oatmeal and beans) by 5 to 10 grams each day could result in a 5 percent drop in ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.

Similarly, people who eat more whole grains (such as brown rice, bulgur, and quinoa) also tend to have lower LDL cholesterol and higher ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. This makes it clear that if your weight loss goal is in order to improve your health, you certainly shouldn’t be skipping carbs.

5. Carbs Boost Your Mood

Most comfort foods are bad for you, but pasta (as long as it’s whole grain!) isn’t one of them. Most carbohydrates contain tryptophan, which the body uses to make the feel-good hormone serotonin—one of the most important neurotransmitters affecting mood—and the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate sleep.

Without enough tryptophan, you’re more likely to suffer from low moods, sleeping difficulties, and weight gain, so like these healthy mood-boosting foods, pasta really does make everything better!

6. Carbs Can Help Reduce Fat

Research in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating whole-grain carbs may reduce total body fat and belly fat.

In one study, adults who ate around three servings of whole grains a day had 2.4 percent less body fat and 3.6 percent less abdominal fat than those who ate less than a quarter of a serving each day.

This effect is most likely related to the fiber content, which keeps you full for longer, in addition to the ways in which carbs give you energy and help your body stay healthy and happy.

It’s clear from this that healthy carbs like whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit aren’t your weight loss enemy at all. In fact, they help your body and mind stay active and healthy so you can lose weight without depriving yourself.

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