Do carbs make you fat? This presents a relevant question to individuals who drastically aim to lose weight or at least maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, our lifestyle impacts the manner we eat and attempt to stay healthy. A slice of bread during the morning before you start your day changes into an all-day habit. I’ve discovered eating bread is a quick fix, but it makes me feel tired and my body becomes weak. These occurrences make us wonder about the usefulness of carbs.
Life in a busy environment and following the correct diet has become an everyday headache. As much as we like to eat healthily, it can be difficult. Fast or high-protein foods contain significant levels of sugars that can cause considerable weight gain. How do we manage to eat correctly without overloading our system with these so-called “bad” foods? Are carbs terrible for you and what is the impact of carbs on your calorie count? Many times we hear about the bad carbs or the good carbs. It all becomes overwhelming.
The manner we manage our dietary intake becomes important. The more we read and study the influences of carbs, we gain an insight into the complexity of the body. Before attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle we need to understand the functions of our diverse body parts and the role they play. It becomes important to reach a balance between eating carbohydrates, exercise and manage your energy levels.
General understanding of carbs
The general understanding focus on the fact that if we eat too much of anything, it changes into fat. Unfortunately, it remains a lot more complex than eating a minimal quantity of food. It resolves around, reaching a balance on what to eat, how much and when. We continue to ask many questions about our ability to eat correctly. Sometimes we struggle to understand the different complexities of what and when I should eat carbs. The more we see different research outcomes, we feel confused about the scenario. For this reason, the understanding of the carbohydrate environments relates more than knowing which foods contain these elements.
It remains critical to align your body requirements, lifestyle and food preferences with recommended food types. We need all food types to not only provide energy but also allow our bodies to recover from sicknesses. We also need food for the brain to keep our minds active.
Besides an overview of carbs and the reasons it impacts your weight, the article attempts to guide the reader. It aims to explain the make-up of carbs, natural foods that contain these elements and also the meaning of refined carbohydrates. Also, the writer attempts to find the reasoning behind the use of high or low carbs. Before we deep dive into the reasoning behind the consumption of carbs, let’s see what it means.
What are carbs?
Carbohydrates known as “carb” in the weight loss environment comprise three macronutrients that present your food fundamentals in a combination of fat and protein. Carbs play a significant role to keep you healthy and include the following elements that impact your diet (3).
- Starch comprises a large chain of sugar compounds represented by your bread, for example.
- Sugars present your short-term elements mostly discovered in fruits.
- Dietary fiber referred to as a polysaccharide and indigestible by the gut.
Carbohydrates stay essential to maintain a healthy and well-balanced body. It maintains the important organs, your brain, and the nervous system. It stays critical to feed glucose into your blood cells and allow for cell development. One should remember the cause of weight gain presents a complex scenario and aligned with the consumption of all food types. A person gains weight by eating an excess of kilojoules or energy type foods (8).
The research identified a link between consuming three to five cereal foods per day and a possible reduction of weight gain. For this reason, one should understand the importance of including carbohydrates in your daily diet.
Using carbs in a daily diet offers a significant debate about the healthiness of the approach. Many modern diets excluded the use of carbs and a focus on an increase in the protein component. A great concern relates to how diverse diets became popular and the scientific reasoning behind these innovations. Some researchers show that a significant portion of diets, for example, the no-carb meal plans exclude the practicality or humanness behind these approaches (1).
The question remains if we need to understand the meaning of carbs, which food types we need and the impacts thereof. The following list of food types summarises examples of carb induced meals (2).
A popular carb, namely bread offers different meal options and represents different calorie levels. Pieces of bread stay a popular meal option during the day and evening. Let’s see the impacts these meal types may have on your calorie count.
- Flour tortilla of 10 inches gives you 36g of carbs.
- One slice of white bread comprises 14g of carbs.
- One slice of whole-wheat bread contains 17g of carbs.
- Three inches of bagel presents 29g of carbs.
Many times we hear about fruits that contain carbs that result in weight increases. The following list provides a summary of fruits known to carry carbs:
- Two large dates comprise 36g of carbs.
- Raisins (28g) contains 22g of carbs.
- Medium banana comprises 27g of carbs.
- One cup of mango comprises 28g of carbs.
The following assorted vegetable types became known to carry high levels of carb contents:
- One cup of corn comprises 41g of carbs.
- One medium potato contains 37g of carbs.
- One cup of beets contains 16g of carbs.
- One cup of sweet potato comprises 24g of carbs.
Various kinds of pasta normally contain high levels of carbs as stated below:
- One cup of whole-wheat pasta comprises 37g of carbs.
- One cup of cooked pasta contains 43g of carbs.
Cereal contains high-levels of carbs for example:
- Instant oatmeal provides 32g of carbs.
Besides the fresh products we consume daily, we also include diverse refined carbs in our diets. Refined foods include the following meal types:
- Refined grains, for example, white flour.
- Refined sugars for example syrup.
Now that we developed an understanding of the known carb levels one detects in diverse food types, let’s focus on the next discussion. As mentioned before, dieticians continuously inform us that a high carb intake allows for a fat increase. To understand the reasoning behind the debate, we need to zoom into the reasons behind it.
Can carbs make you fat and how?
Now let us see if carbs make you fat and the reasoning behind this thought. If we eat carbohydrates, the elements disaccharides and polysaccharides require a breakdown before our bodies can utilize them. Enzymes act as the component to divide the food we consumed in different parts and start the absorption process. The subsequent retention then allows for a discharge of insulin that allows our cells to gain access to the glucose as an energy source.
Insulin works closely with the liver and informs the organ to store additional glucose as glycogen (3). Our livers comprise a limitation to store glucose or sugar. If you consume large quantities of carbohydrates, it breaks down in sugar and anything extra your body converts into fat.
Realistically we need fat storage in our bodies as well. The problem arises when we eat too many carbohydrates and our system becomes overloaded with glucose. If you comprise lower fat levels, your carbs increase your blood sugar and individuals continuously feel hungry. Subsequently, people eat more because they feel unsatisfied with their food consumption (4).
Researchers showed that high-glycemic carbohydrates quickly run through the digestive parts of your body. As a result, an individual experiences an insulin rush. Oppositely low-glycemic carbohydrates digest slowly and prevent one from continuously feeling tired. The increasing produce of high-glycemic carbohydrates resulted in weight loss challenges on a global scale. These high-carb food types make you feel fatigued throughout the day.
High-level carb type foods health specialists warn us against. These food types include extensive consumption of pizzas, cakes, and desserts for example. Rice, pasta, and slices of bread cause blood sugar instabilities that make you feel hungry all the time.
What is the role of your pancreas?
Besides, your pancreas allows for the production of insulin that maintains your blood sugar levels. In the event you contain high levels of insulin in your bloodstream, your system continues to change carbs into fat. If a person eats a significant portion of carbs, it results in an increase in insulin levels and a challenge to lose weight. The reason for this relates to the fact that the more insulin you carry, the less likely your body receives an opportunity to burn the additional fat.
The main challenge we face today includes an oversupply of refined carbs as mentioned earlier that prevents us from living healthily. Dieticians realized the so-called weight-loss muffin recipe prevented from working and people gained significant kilos because of it. Besides, the lunchtime healthy protein or sugar snacks also impacted on people’s ability to maintain their weight levels.
How many carbs can I eat daily?
Weight management requires a person to also maintain their calorie intake and an individual should consume on average 325g carbs daily. If you drastically need to lose those kilos’ one can easily revert to 150g per day. It may help to limit eating too many kinds of pasta and bread if you in the process to reduce your weight levels. Important to focus on healthy carbs and stay away from refined options (6). Many times consumers experience uncertainty when they struggle with the understanding of how many carbs one can consume.
Research displayed that people who aim to look for low-carb or healthy carb food types sometimes struggle to find the products easily. The nutrition values stipulated on the products reflect incorrect data or claim to be healthy (7). It helps to investigate the nutritional values of the products before one purchases the so-called health options.
Exercise and Carbs
We must understand that people who attend regular gym sessions, take part in high-performance athletic events or take part in physical work burn fat quicker than lesser active individuals. If you a runner, the consumption of carbohydrates plays a key role in your sports performance. The carbohydrates breakdown release the energy you need to maintain your exercise program or the physical work you take part in.
The challenge stays where people struggle to maintain an active lifestyle and still revert to the consumption of high-carb diets. Mostly during these circumstances, the individual’s experience challenges to feel full during the day and continue eating high-carb meals.
Why do refined carbs make you fat?
Refined foods comprise a limited amount or no fiber, minerals or vitamins. Zero-calorie refined foods became a popular thought, but these meals digest extremely quickly. It also allows for significant blood sugar spikes and insulin levels. Again the increase in insulin levels associated with glucose and your liver function generates additional fat.
For this reason, as mentioned before, the consumption of refined sugars and meals creates a short-term energy solution but you feel tired within a short time. Many days people ordered a pizza because they feel hungry, but after a short while, individuals feel in need of food again. It results in people continuously want to eat and mostly revert to the consumption of more refined or high-carb foods (5). Individuals became addicted to refined carb type foods for example refined cakes. Now, what happens when we eat high-carb meals?
What happens when you eat high-carb meals?
In the event we revert to high-carb meals to feel full, individuals experience diverse negativities for example:
- Bloating stomachs
- Mental fatigue
- Feeling depressed
- Constant feelings of tiredness
- Continues crave for sugar-induced foods
Research has shown that most people’s shopping baskets contain high sugar, carb or refined food types. Decisions also revert to affordability where many individuals feel it becomes expensive to purchase natural foods only. Changing our diets to lose weight presents diverse stresses because of the psychological impacts thereof. Obesity and weight increases apply significantly to the consumption of calorie concentrated food types who present high carb levels. Now let’s see if we can eat carbs or not?
Should we restrain from eating carbs?
Now we ask if we should stay away from carbs or include them in our dietary schedules? After undertaking significant research, carbs remain a critical component to maintain a healthy diet. Carbs present logical and scientific reasoning to form part of your daily meal. The problem of modern society remains with us eating too many carbs.
I am saying, proceed eating carbs but in moderation. Attempt to eat “healthy” carbs and preferably stay away from refined foods. Balance your meals and restrain your portions to a suitable quantity aligned with your bodily needs. We cannot exclude carbs from our lives and if we use it correctly, it works to our advantage.
Can a person eat carbs and still lose weight?
One should remember that a low-carb diet may not present the miracle you want. Research indicated that low-carb diets do not necessarily allow a person to lose weight. Again a low-carb diet also contains some side effects, for example, struggling with low blood sugar as mentioned earlier on. Low-carb diets work for some people but not everybody.
Secondly, individuals who struggle with diabetes may need to request advice from the doctors first. The evidence of weight reduction aligned with low-carb diets stays minimal.
Following a specific low-carb diet may still require some guidance before entering into a weight loss journey. A person’s bodily health relies on the ability of an individual to lose weight without improvising your bodily functions or organs.
Low-carb diets may initially make you feel that you lose weight but side effects may happen. Low-carb diets offer few fruits and vegetables while the meal plan itself presents the following challenges, namely:
- High levels of saturated fat.
- Low in vitamins A, E, and B6.
- Low in calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.
- Minimal elements related to antioxidants and phytochemicals.
- Low in fiber.
Can carbs make you fat? Yes, it can if used incorrectly. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it stays best to discuss your dietary requirements with your health practitioner. Prevent from attempting the so-called crash diets and rather focus on what your body needs. Carbs play an extremely important role to maintain our body’s health and functions.
If you a person who wonders if carbs make you fat, it stays best to focus on eating in moderation and focus on a balanced meal. Carbs occur in different food types that we need to stay strong and maintain our body’s health. Without carb intake, we struggle to create the energies we need. We subsequently deprive our bodies of the necessary nutrients and we become sick.
In conclusion, carb intake in moderation plays a key role in the upkeep of your health. Carbs make you fat if you consume more than you need.
- Feinman R.D. et al., 2006, Low carbohydrate diets in family practice: what can we learn from an internet-based support group, Nutrition Journal, Vol. 5 (26), pp1-11 https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-5-26