It is quite known that foods rich in carbohydrates can make you gain weight. These include bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. That is why a lot of people abhor eating too much carbs. Aside from weight gain, eating too much carbs can lead to a spike in blood sugar and other conditions.
Meanwhile, a lot of people also avoid eating fatty foods out of fear of having health issues such as high cholesterol levels and more. But the truth is, there are actually different types of fats that are actually good for the body. Likewise, carbs are not all bad – as long as taken in moderation and burned through exercise.
That said, all nutrients and minerals existent in food, in general, provide significant benefits, including carbs and fat. Having very low levels of fats and carbs may cause hormonal imbalances. But too much of these can also cause health problems along the way. As mentioned, moderation is the key.
So, what exactly do carbs and fats do to our bodies? How much intake of carbs and fats is healthy? Can a high-carb and low-fat diet help you lose weight?
All about carbs
As mentioned, carbs are somewhat frowned upon in terms of weight management. Popular diets such as the ketogenic and Atkins diets cross out carbs in their menus. As a result, a lot of people are afraid to eat carbs as they think they will gain weight with them. However, carbs should not be feared in the first place.
For starters, carbs make up one of the three macronutrients commonly found in food – the others are protein and fats. Almost all foods we know contain varying amounts of carbs. Under carbs are fiber, starch, and sugar.
Sugar is usually added to processed foods such as chocolates, biscuits, and beverages. But there are some foods with natural sugar content, including honey and fruits. On the other hand, breads, pasta, potatoes, and rice all contain starch and are considered major sources of carbs. Fiber is commonly present in whole grains, some vegetables, lentils, and beans.
According to health experts, carbs play a major role in our health for different reasons. For one, carbs provide energy and are particularly important when you are about to engage in intense physical activities. If you are on a low-carb diet, your body will use fat and protein as main energy sources. Also, a low-carb intake may potentially lead to health problems and nutrient deficiencies.
All about fats
As mentioned, not all fats are bad. In fact, there are good fats. Included under “good fats” are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. On the other hand, trans fats and saturated fats fall under “bad fats.” These include those used in commercial food snacks such as biscuits and cookies, and, of course, your favorite french fries.
Fish, nuts, and vegetables all contain good fats, and so do certain types of oil such as olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and even fruits such as avocado. These “good fats” are proven to be beneficial to heart health. Experts recommend using these “good fats” as a replacement for trans fats and saturated fats.
Will you lose weight with a high-carb, low-fat diet?
So the question remains: Can you lose weight with a high-carb, low-fat diet? The answer is yes, you can lose weight with such a diet plan. The weight loss effects can be achieved faster if you couple your diet with regular exercise. After all, you will need mostly carbs to fuel you up during exercise, and they are acquired from carb-rich foods such as bread, pasta, and starchy vegetables.
That said, a high-carb, low-fat diet is more ideal for those who have an active lifestyle. In fact, having a diet plan can help improve their physical performance and hasten recovery from exercise. On the other hand, a lack of carbohydrates in your diet can lead to ketosis, wherein your body uses up protein as an energy source. Ketosis usually results in short-term effects such as headaches, irritability, and dehydration.
At the end of the day, everything is good and enjoyable in moderation. Too much of it can lead to unpleasant effects. To prevent potential health problems, limit consumption of carbs and sugary foods and switch to healthier fats as mentioned above.