Crazy for Carbohydrates

I am crazy for carbohydrates--and I bet you are too!

I don't know how the late Dr. Atkins has brainwashed our society into thinking carbohydrates are not good for us. Then came the South Beach Diet to hit us when we were down. And now, the dreaded Keto Diet! The problem is...these diets do cause rapid weight loss. So we think they work in the traditional sense. (Please see Health at Every Size to explore the problems associated with seeking weight loss.)

But then all diets provide some level of weight loss--eating cabbage or grapefruit all day will cause weight loss. I don't see anything terribly special about cutting carbs, except for rapid dehydration. It is the dehydrating (the hydrate part of carbo-hydrate) aspect of these diets that leads to the rapid initial weight loss. After that it is just good old calorie restriction that does the trick. But wait...oops, just as you were getting excited about all that weight loss, you just gained it all back again (and more, if we're being honest). 

So why do I advocate a carbohydrate rich eating pattern?

Because these little pockets of goodness provide steady energy throughout the day. They keep us from crashing from low blood sugar. They break down into good old glucose, and this is the foundation for our blood sugar levels. Plus, they actually keep us from binging later in the day because we've met our needs all day long. It is important to pair sources of carbs with proteins and fats at each meal and snack to ensure a gradual blood sugar rise and fall (meaning: keeps you fuller longer with steady energy).

These energy sources make up the most important percentage of nutrients in a balanced diet. When people restrict them, the body just has to basically make them from proteins and fats. This process is hard on the body (ever heard of ketosis--it is not a good thing), and it is basically pointless. Why not just provide your body what it needs instead of stressing it out like that? Trust me...eat two bagels and call me in the morning!

FUNCTIONS:

* Provide energy

* Spare protein from being used for energy

* Helps control blood sugar levels

* Provides vitamins and minerals

* Maintain heart, brain, liver, and nerve tissue function

RECOMMENDED DAILY INTAKE:

* 50 to 55 % of total calories consumed

FACTS:

* The body converts all carbohydrates into its own energy-“Blood Sugar” or Glucose.

* If blood glucose levels fall below normal (< 70 mg/dl, you may experience fatigue, rapid heartbeat, weakness, shakiness, sweating, anxiety, hunger, and ultimately coma.

* Every cell of the body depends on glucose for energy.

Read more about carbohydrates and nutrition:

Calorie Counting 

Carb , Protein , Fat 

Food Nutrition Myths , Good Food Bad Food

Health At Every Size , Body Image

Healthy Eating Habits

Nutrition Counseling

Intuitive Eating , Hunger & Fullness , Portion Control

Contact us with any questions about eating and mental health issues. You or someone you know may be in need of outpatient eating disorder treatment.

Jennifer Pereira LPC, RD -  Counselor & Dietitian

HOw's your Relationship with Food?

1. Do you worry that you have lost control over how much you eat?

2. Do you make yourself sick (or use laxatives/exercise) if you feel uncomfortably full?

3. Do you currently suffer with or suffered in the past with eating issues?

4. Do you ever eat in secret?

5. Does your weight affect how you feel about yourself?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if you are not satisfied with your current eating patterns, contact us for more information.