Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is it true that...Carbs Make You Fat? Your Daily Myth Busted

OK, so we all hear a variety of nutrition and health 'facts' on what seems like a daily basis. The question is: Which ones are true and which ones are bogus? I thought I'd give you guys a forum to ask your pressing nutritional questions and express your concerns, and I will provide you with the answers!

Today's myth is that 'carbs make you fat'. It's the basis of low-carb diets and the reason why people are so afraid of pasta and bread! Well, guess what - carbs don't make you fat. Eating too much and not moving around enough makes you fat. The myth stems from the fact that if carbs are not used up as energy, they are readily stored as glycogen for future use as energy. Realistically, though, any excess calories that you consume will ultimately be stored, regardless of where they come from. Remember: balance and portion control are key!

Did you know that your brain relies solely on carbohydrates for energy? Cut them out entirely and you will start to feel dizzy, groggy and won't be able to focus. Carbs give you the energy your body needs to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Choose complex carbs, like those found in whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta) and sweet potatoes which give you a lasting burst of energy because your body burns them more slowly. Simple carbs like those found in fruits and veggies are used up more quickly by your body, but are also necessary and great for you.

What you should avoid for a number of reasons are refined sugars and white starches. These bad boys spike your blood sugar giving you an instant high, but cause you to crash just as quickly and leave you searching for more food to fill the void.

Hope that cleared the air! Feel free to ask me about any myths that you need busting by commenting on this post. Take care!