Debunking Myths About Carbohydrates

Low-carb diets have been extremely popular as of late because of their immediate results. However, it’s not exactly a healthy long-term practice.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about carbohydrates — and why they’re not entirely accurate:

Myth: Fruit is Bad for You

Fruit contains varying amounts of sugar in the form of fructose and glucose. These are carbohydrates, but they’re not necessarily bad for you. Not all sugars are made the same.

According to Medical News Today, our bodies are better equipped at digesting natural sugars compared to chemically processed sugars. These include glucose, maltose, sucrose, or different combinations which are commonly found in sodas, snacks, and bars. Even purported healthy snacks and beverages, like fruity cereal or canned juice, are pumped with unhealthy amounts of unnatural sugars while offering no other nutritional value. On the other hand, fruit comes with a host of essential vitamins, minerals, and fibres. So when it comes down to choice, natural sugars are the better option.

Myth: Low-Carb Diets are the Key to Weight Loss

Many diets focus on reducing your intake of carbohydrates, such as rice and bread. However, the main reason you might be losing weight with this approach is the reduction in your overall caloric intake. Note that the average person should consume around 45-65% of their daily calories from carbs — and eliminating such a considerable amount will lead to an instant caloric deficit and thus, weight loss.

However, low-carb diets might do more harm than good. Cutting out a huge chunk of your daily energy needs can make your body think it’s in starvation mode. You might experience headaches, fatigue, and unusual cravings that lead to binges. It also makes your body hold on to every amount of energy it gets and store it as fat. In this way, cutting carbs is actually counterproductive to your goal of losing weight and getting healthy.

Myth: Simple Carbs are Better than Complex Carbs or vice versa

Simple carbs are easy to digest and can be found in fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, complex carbs, found in whole grains and legumes, take longer to process. As you can see, these are all healthy ingredients. For instance, our article ‘Amazing Health Benefits of Whole Grain Foods’ discussed the various nutrients found in ingredients like wheat, which has been found to reduce risks of heart disease and diabetes.

However, simple and complex carbs can be sourced from less than optimal food, too. Soda, candy, cookies, and desserts are high in simple carbs, while refined flour and sugar are high in complex carbs. This means that whether a carbohydrate is simple or complex doesn’t really matter.

Instead, nutrition experts from Everyday Health explain that it’s better to measure carbs based on its glycaemic load (GL). This accounts for the glycaemic index and the carbohydrate content. The GL tells you how a specific food will affect your blood sugar, whether it will lead to a spike, drop, or keep it steady.

Incorporating Healthy Carbs into your Diet

With all this in mind, eating carbohydrates from healthy sources is actually not that hard. After all, it doesn’t take much energy to pick up a piece of fruit. These are some additional ways to incorporate healthy carbs into your diet:

1. Make Home-made Bread

It’s the perfect time to get to know your oven and experiment with home-made bread. By choosing to bake your own, you can be picky with the ingredients. Opt for whole-grain products like wheat, buckwheat, and even pulses like moong dal. They can be even more delicious and nutritious than your standard bakery bread.

2. Build Your Own Grain Bowls

Grain bowls are the perfect way to consume more carbohydrates. They can be easily cooked at home with a rice cooker or an Instant Pot. If you don’t have one yet, review platform can help you narrow down your choices. They feature different rice cookers that cook various grains perfectly. That means you can be very creative with your grain bowl. Use basmati rice as your base, or other grains like quinoa, amaranth, or lentils, and vary up the flavours from there.

3. Whip up Your Own Smoothies

If you have a hectic day ahead of you, one trick to consuming the recommended amount of carbohydrates is to drink it. With the right blender or food processor, you can whip up a smoothie very quickly, and it’s an effortless way of sneaking more fruit and greens into your diet. For recipe ideas, can be a beneficial resource.

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