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 short-term goals such as depleting glycogen stores and an initial reduction in scale weight but a low carb diet should never be long-term.
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘carb’? Fat gain, inflammation, high blood sugar?
- Increased insulin: YES
- Fat gain: NO, insulin is a satiety hormone and will not lead to fat gain on its own.
- 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 hormone
- 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 size is 1 cupped hand.
- Consume more healthy carbs vs processed carbs
- Eat carbs at the meal closest to your workout