Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nutrition Myth #2: Avoid carbohydrates to lose weight

• The key message that many low-carb diets convey is that carbohydrates promote insulin production, which in turn causes weight gain. Therefore by reducing carbohydrate intake, you can lose weight.

• Carbohydrates are the preferred source of fuel for the body. Carbs give our body the energy it needs to survive, exercise and get through the day.

• Many low-carb diets do not provide enough carbohydrates to your body for daily maintenance. Therefore your body will begin to burn stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy, releasing water in the process. The drastic initial weight loss at the beginning of a low-carb diet is mostly the water that you lose as a result of burning glycogen.

• In general, carbohydrates have a moderate amount of calories (half as many as fat).

• Simple carbohydrates (sugar) should be limited because they tend to be low in nutrients.

• The majority of our diet should be complex carbohydrates: whole grain, starches etc. These carbohydrates tend to be low in calories and high in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and fiber).

• The amount of carbohydrates is important. For example, a bagel is not one serving of carbohydrates but more like 4-5 servings. This adds up quickly.

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