When you decide you’re on a mission to lose weight, what do you sacrifice first? In most households, bread and pasta are the first items to be scrapped off the weekly shopping list. Over the course of the last few years, carbohydrates have developed something of a bad reputation, but is it really warranted, and are carbs every dieter’s enemy? If you’re trying to slim down, here’s some useful information about carbohydrates.
What exactly are carbs?
Carbohydrates, or carbs as they have become affectionately known, are foods that are predominantly used to fuel your body. The trouble with vilifying carbs is that carbohydrates are a vast food group, which incorporates a huge variety of different foods. Some aren’t hugely beneficial for you, but others are. Under the umbrella, you’ll find simple sugars, but you’ll also find items like whole grain pasta, rice, and bread, which can offer your body plenty of nutrients. Carbohydrates are used for energy, but many foods are also good sources of fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion.
Are carbs really the enemy?
In our society, carbohydrates have taken on the role of the dieter’s nemesis. Diets that restrict carb intake, such as the Atkins and Dukan diets, became very popular a few years ago, and since then, many people have been worried about including foods like pasta, rice, and cereals in their diet.
The truth of the matter is that reducing your intake of carbohydrates can help you to lose weight if you’re used to consuming the ‘wrong’ types of foods, and you take in more calories than you use. If you eat a lot of sugary foods, for example, you’ll find that adopting a low-carb diet will produce results on the scale. Likewise, if you’re used to tackling giant portions of pasta piled high with processed meat and cheese, switching to low carb recipes like those on http://www.tasteaholics.com/recipes/low-carb-recipes/ will help you to lose weight. Although reducing your intake of carbs can have a positive impact, it’s important to understand that cutting out carbohydrates can also be detrimental to your health.
It’s worth noting that when you make healthy changes to your diet, it’s not just about cutting down on carbs. Many meals that include carbohydrates also contain fatty foods. Take a spaghetti Bolognese, for example. If you cut out the cheese and swap beef for turkey, you’ll reduce the calorie count dramatically without having to give up pasta. You can make your favorite meal even better by substituting spaghetti for whole grain pasta. For more healthy food swaps, take a look at http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/healthy-food-swaps.
The key is to enjoy everything in moderation and learn which types of foods are most beneficial for your body. Losing weight is also not just about eating well. It’s also about using the energy you take on board. If you exercise frequently, you won’t necessarily gain weight just because you have a sandwich or a stir fry with rice for your dinner.
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