You’ve probably heard it before, “carbs make you fat,” “carbs are the enemy,” etc. Maybe you’ve even heard the opposite side of the spectrum, “eat carbs and you’ll lose weight!” Though it might not be the conclusive answer you want, carbs, or carbohydrates might have a different impact on different bodies. It can also come down to whole bunch of other factors, but overall carbs are definitely important in your diet.
Carbs fuel your body
Unless your body is in ketosis, carbs are your body’s main source of energy. Carbs contain glucose which circulates the blood in humans as blood sugar. For everyone, carbs are one of the three essential macronutrients that we need which means it’s essential to include them in your diet, at least to some extent.
(Complex) carbs release energy slowly
You might have heard that carbs can increase your blood sugar levels, leading to a crash later on and potentially hurting your insulin resistance. This is true, but only for simple carbs! Complex or unrefined carbs release energy slowly, ensuring that your insulin doesn’t spike. This is important to consider for anyone trying to lose weight or currently dealing with insulin issues.
Carbs contain fibre
Fibre is essential for your body, especially to aid in digestion. Out of the two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, the insoluble fibre is necessary for your intestinal health. If you’re looking to restrict your carbs for weight loss or other health issues, counting the net carbs (minus the fibre) might be more important than counting the total carbs.
Carbs promote heart health
With the insoluble fibre helping your digestion, how does the soluble fibre help? Soluble fibre is actually great for heart health. Increasing your soluble fibre intake with foods such as brown rice and quinoa can lower the bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol in your body. Carbs can even promote your good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol.
Carbs keep you sane
Of course, we all know that excited feeling we get at the sight of some delicious carb heavy foods. In fact, researchers have actually found that there might be a scientific reason why this happens. In a study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, carbs can increase the production of the happy hormone, serotonin, in your brain. People who drastically restrict their carbs have been found to experience more depression, anxiety and anger.
Ultimately, since we’re not health professionals, we can’t determine how carbs will impact your body. It’s important you reach out to doctors and/or other health professionals.