Carbs are often the topic of hot debate.
Either people are adamantly against them, saying they make you fat; or they are totally for them saying they are a necessary part of a balanced diet.
The truth is, both camps are correct.
What Carbs Really Do
Carbohydrates are a major source of energy for your body. That’s basically what they do. Carbs are easily turned into energy, helping fuel your body throughout the day.
So Why All the Hype About Low Carb?
While your body needs carbs, it can only use so much of it. Anything extra needs to be stored. Any carbs, or glucose, not used for energy is covered to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles.
Great right? Not so fast. Once your liver and muscles have had all the glucose they need, the remainder gets turned into fat to be stored for the long run. The body does not waste any of the glucose you give it.
Alternatively, when the body runs low on carbs, it starts to rely on fat for energy. While many people go low carb for this very reason, there are certain cells within the body that need carbs. For example, brain cells do not run on fat cells like your muscles can, they do require glucose to run properly.
Benefits of Low Carb
This is not to say there aren’t any benefits to going low carb. There are definitely some benefits to be had.
#1 Weight loss. Not surprising since cutting out carbs forces your body to feed off your fat. In fact, many people experience quick weight loss on a low carb diet, even if they failed on everything else.
#2 Triglycerides go down. High triglycerides have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack. And one of the main causes of high triglycerides is the consumption of too much fructose. When people cut carbs, they often see a dramatic reduction in triglycerides.
#3 Good cholesterol goes up. With many low carb diets, the amount of consumed fat goes up. And one the best ways to increase your levels of good cholesterol is to eat good, healthy fat like the ones found in avocado.
#4 Blood sugar and insulin levels go down. Carbs, namely simple sugars, hit your blood stream hard and affect your blood sugar and insulin levels. By limited carbs, you also limit sugar, allowing your blood sugar levels to naturally stabilize.
#5 Blood pressure also goes down. Studies have shown that reducing carbs is key to reducing blood pressure, which leads to a reduced risk of certain diseases.
Carbs are not necessarily a bad thing. They provide your body and cells with the right amount of energy. However, if you consistently eat more carbs that your body needs, the extra gets turned into fat. This is where carbs get a bad name for making you fat. Whether you eat carbs or cut them, the key is to eat just enough to fuel your body.