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Myths About Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates became America’s ‘public enemy number one’ when the Atkins’s diet craze was making it’s rounds, at the height of its popularity.

Foods like bread and potatoes were frantically banished from people’s diets across the country. It wasn’t long before more serious health issues started to afflict the same people.

General body weakness, fainting and hair loss became the norm. Studies have gone further and cast a grimmer picture by revealing even more health risks linked to low-carb diets.

Research on people who had been on these diets for a long time showed increased incidence to develop heart disease and diabetes. In the end, sanity seems to be returning as many myths about carbohydrates have been busted.

Carbohydrates are an essential food nutrient that should be included in every healthy diet. Carbohydrates are made up of starch, sugars and fibre. They are stored in the body as glycogen (in muscles and liver), or glucose, which is used as fuel to provide energy for various body organs and functions.

Common myths about carbohydrates

Although science seems to have prevailed over the low carb diets craze, there are still a number of myths doing the rounds.

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1. Carbohydrates make you fat: it was widely believed that weight loss was as simple as excluding carbohydrates from your diet or that potatoes cause you to grow fatter. The truth is that potatoes do not cause the bulge. In any case, there are only 161 calories plus 4 grams of fiber in a baked potato.

The truth is that carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy and eating them will not necessarily make you fat, but you have to consume more carbohydrates than your body uses regularly and frankly speaking, it is not an easy thing to do with carbohydrates, unlike fats. The best thing is to moderate carbohydrates intake as well as other foods that balance your diet.

2. Eating a lot of corn packs up the calories: although it’s true that corn contains carbohydrates, they are the ‘good’ type. In fact corn has the best type of carbohydrates, the high grade complex carbohydrates.

You might also want to know that corn is a vegetable as well as a whole grain with a high fiber content. You will get 15 percent of the fiber you need in a day from just one ear. Corn also contains good amounts of the essential folate, a B-vitamin complex which is good for the heart.

3. Carrot contains a load of sugar: fact is that there are 12 grams of carbohydrates and 52 grams of calories in a cup of raw carrot (chopped). Natural sugar contributes only half the amount of carbohydrates while healthy fiber and complex carbohydrates make up the rest. That is much less than what you would get in the same serving of milk or a piece of fruit. Moreover, carrots contain vitamins, fiber and minerals, all good for health.

Enjoy these carbs in moderation though: whole grain bread, brown rice, beans, oatmeal and potatoes. The ones you should eat with caution are found in processed food, white bread, white rice and alcohol.

Some myths have apparently received enormous success in selling low-carb diets. The truth is that our bodies need carbohydrates and severe health issues could result from deprivation of carbohydrates.

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