In Defense of Carbs
For many years the buzz was to go low carb. In fact it is still popular among a large population. Restricting carbs can serve a short-term purpose: deplete glycogen stores, and reduce scale weight initially. This can be very motivating for most people. However, reduced carb intake should never be long-term.
What do you think about when you hear the word “carb”: Fat gain, inflammation, high blood sugar.
- Increased insulin: YES
- Fat gain: NO, insulin is a satiety hormone. Insulin on its own won’t lead to fat gain.
- Inflammatory: YES and NO. Processed grains are inflammatory; Whole grains in limited quantities are not.
Here is what actually happens when you drastically reduce carbs for long periods of time:
- Decrease thyroid
- Increase cortisol
- Decrease testosterone
- Foggy brain
- Muscle breakdown
- Lower immune function
What long-term carb restriction can look like in women:
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Lowered fertility
- Hypoglycemia and blood sugar swings
- More body fat storage around the middle
- Loss of bone density
- Mood issues such as anxiety, and depression
- Fatigue and disrupted sleep
Wondering what to do next? Keep the following in mind:
- Moderation is key for everyone. Suggested serving is 1 cupped hand
- Consume more healthy carbs vs processed carbs
- Eat carbs at the meal closest to your workout