Are carbs really bad for you?
By PW Nutritionist Steph Evans
Carbs make you fat! Or do they?
With the current trends of low-carb and keto diets becoming more popular we are getting quicker at demonising carbs and calling them the enemy! The term “carbs makes you fat” is tossed around the internet - but what is the truth behind this statement? It was only a few years ago that fat was the devil, but suddenly high-fat low-carb diets are your fast ticket to weight loss. With this sudden change in opinion, there is no wonder we are getting confused on what we should eat and turning to the internet for advice.
First of all, let me just assure you that eating a potato, or a slice of bread won’t cause you to suddenly gain 3 pounds! But that is not surprising though, hey?
The term carbohydrates encompass’ a broad range of foods; with some better for you than others. When most of us think of carbs, we often refer to simple sugars found in processed foods. These are foods laden with a combination of sugar and fat, with very little in the way of nutrition. Think your crisps, sweets, cakes and pastries which contain very little fibre and protein, and therefore provide a fast, short-lasting amount of energy. These are the carbs people call “bad carbs” and the ones which should be limited (but not banned) in your diet. Remember a slice of cake and some pizza is good for the soul every so often – and you can always try out our approved Carb Blocker Capsules to prevent a ‘cheat’ day bloat!
Don’t get me wrong, the reasoning behind carbohydrates getting a bad rap isn’t complete nonsense. These kinds of foods are much faster to digest than equivalent protein and fats, and therefore it is much easier to overeat on a high-carb diet, but it is important to remember not all carbs are made equal.
For example, wholegrain alternatives, oats and grains are not only a source of carbohydrates but also your high fibre foods containing important micronutrients. These are known as your complex or “good” carbs which slow down your rate of digestion and provide a slower release of long-lasting energy (which can prevent unwanted snacking). Fibre is a very important part of a healthy diet known to improve bowel health, reduce constipation and bloating (you’re on your way to a flat stomach here!) and some studies suggest a high fibre diet can help reduce risks of diabetes and bowel cancers.
If you are trying to lose weight, you may opt for a low-carb diet to assist in your goals, but I am also here to tell you that if you don’t want to give them up then you really don’t have to! The ultimate factor in weight loss is reducing calorie intake, whether it be via carbohydrates or fat - you just have to eat less food than what you burn off each day! Some people may find this easier when following Keto or low-carb diets, but this requires proper nutritional planning and care. I would suggest that if you are looking to try this way of eating, then read up on our blog: ‘Is Keto Right for Me?’ and seek nutritional advice prior to starting.
If low carb isn’t your jam, then why not join in with our 30-day weight loss challenges, incorporating our infamous Slender Blend! This is Protein World’s best-selling meal-replacement shake ideal for those living a busy lifestyle and struggling to lose weight. It makes mealtimes easy by replacing 1-2 meals per day, high in protein, low in sugar and fat, and it is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to ensure you are not missing out on nutrients found in foods!