We often get differing opinions about carbohydrates all the time: some say that you should avoid them because they are bad for you and it can make you fat. Others say that they are fine as long as you do regular exercise or if you work it out at the gym. Or maybe you have heard someone say that a low-carb diet is the only way to go.
If you are confused, do not worry as you are not alone. Although there is a lot of bona fide information out there, there is also a lot of of bogus data, making it difficult to decide which practice you should actually adapt.
But whatever the case, unless your doctor has advised you otherwise, carbohydrates are a healthy addition to your diet. Here are 6 reasons why eating carbs can be beneficial to your body.
6) Carbohydrates can help in improving your mood.
According to research, carbohydrates help promote the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that induces feelings of happiness. One study from the archives of Internal Medicine has found that people who adapted a low-carb diet for one year (only 20 to 40 grams of carb everyday) experience more depression, anger and anxiety than those who adapted a high-carb, low-fat diet that focused on whole grains, beans and fruits.
5) Carbohydrates can aid in preventing weight gain and can actually even promote weight loss.
A two-year study involving middle-aged women and conducted at the Brigham Young University in Utah has found that those who increased their fiber intake generally lost weight while those women who decreased their fiber intake actually gained weight. Dietary fiber, which is actually an indigestible complex carbohydrate, is found in many carbohydrates.
4) Carbohydrates can help promote heart health.
According to research, increasing soluble fiber intake (a type of fiber which can be found carb-rich foods like beans and oatmeal) by 5 to 10 grams everyday can result in a 5% drop in “bad” LDL cholesterol. Additionally, people who consume more whole grains like bulgur, brown rice and quinoa tend to have higher “good” LDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.
3) Carbohydrates helps you trim your waistline.
A research that was published in the Journal of Nutrition has found that substituting refined grains with whole grains can help reduce total body fat as well as belly fat. According to the study, adults who ate about 3 servings of whole grains each day had about 3.6% less abdominal fat and 2.4% less body total body fat than those who ate less than a quarter of a serving.
2) Carbohydrates can help in keeping your memory and focus sharp.
One study from Tufts University which followed overweight women who were assigned a low-carb diet for a week has found that these women did worse on working memory tests and visuospatial memory than those women who followed a low-calorie diet.
1) Carbohydrates will help you blast fat.
According to a study by the Journal of Nutrition, eating breakfast consisting of “slow-release” carbohydrates such as bran cereal and oatmeal 3 hours before doing exercise may help burn fat. The reason for this is because consuming “slow-release” carbs does not spike blood sugar and insulin levels the way refined carbohydrates does. Insulin, for those who do not know, plays a major role in signaling the body to store fat and having lower levels of insulin may help in burning fat.