Carbohydrate Myths - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Carbohydrate Myths


      By Susan B. Dopart, M.S., R.D., C.D.E. Huffpost Healthy Living


      Just like the Spice Girls, carbohydrates were at the height of their popularity during the mid-1990s. When "fat-free" became the desired state, people turned to carbs instead. Consumers soon learned that a high carb diet wasn't so healthy either. Today, between marketers who promote packaged carbs as "heart healthy" and fitness "experts" who espouse that all carbs are bad, it's easy to be confused. Here are some carb myths debunked:


      Myth 1: If you want to eat a low-carb diet, just cut out bread, pasta, cereal, rice and potatoes.


      Although bread, pasta, cereal, rice and potatoes are among the best-known carbohydrates, the truth is that many other foods have carbohydrates, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts, seeds, beans/legumes and avocados. These foods are natural carbohydrates and have greater nutritional value than processed or low-fiber carbs. If you cut out starchy carbs, you are still consuming adequate amounts of carbohydrate depending on your lifestyle, activity level, age and medical issues.


      Myth 2: Cereals are "heart-healthy."


      Food manufacturers spend millions of dollars a year on cereal advertisements fooling us into thinking cereal is the best breakfast choice. However, many popular cereals, including granola, contain multiple sources of sugar and fat.


      There are healthy cereals, but even eating an average bowl of cereal is like eating 4-6 slices of bread for breakfast in terms of carbohydrate. Many people will skip breakfast, saying that eating increases their hunger. This happens because cereal causes a large increase in blood sugar, followed by a big drop, thereby increasing one's appetite for the whole day.


      Myth 3: Your body needs bread, pasta and cereal to get enough nutrients.


      Our ancestors survived for hundreds of years without eating bread, pasta or cereal. All of your needs for vitamins and minerals can easily be met without these foods. A heart-healthy diet can be realized with foods without a label and multiple ingredients. If you are eating a food with a label, try to stick with something with less than five ingredients.


      Myth 4: If you don't eat whole grains you won't get enough fiber in your diet.


      There are many excellent sources of fiber in the diet besides whole grains. Most health organizations recommend eating 25 grams of fiber per day. Just eating a few of these good-for-you foods can easily add up to that:


      Two tablespoons of ground flax seeds equals 4.5 grams.
      One cup of broccoli has a little over 5 grams.
      A one-ounce snack of almonds (about 20) has 3 grams.
      One-third of an avocado has 4 grams.
      A medium apple has 5 grams.
      One half-cup of beans contains 6 grams.


      Myth 5: If you want to avoid eating too many carbs look for foods with "net carbs" on the label.


      Net carbs is a term the food industry made up as a way to fool consumers into thinking their products contain fewer carbohydrates. To arrive at a net carb number, they take the carbohydrates coming from fiber or sugars known as "alcohol sugars" and subtract them from the total amount of carbohydrates.


      The premise is that those carbohydrates from fiber or alcohol sugar are not processed by the body, or have minimal effects on blood sugars. Maltitol is one of the primary alcohol sugars found in foods, and it does increase blood sugars. Fiber adds bulk to food, but to think it does not add any calories or impact blood sugars is a fallacy and has not been proven by research. Net carbs on labels are just another way food manufacturers use to market their products.


      The Simple Truth: A healthy way of eating is to consume natural, non-man-made carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, beans and legumes. They have a low glycemic index (meaning they do not raise your blood sugar) since they contain fiber, and are full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to enhance your health... and there's nothing mythical about that!

      Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-...b_1583461.html
      Comments 7 Comments
      1. Swordfish II's Avatar
        Swordfish II -
        Once again, huffington posts a crap article
      1. STPlover's Avatar
        STPlover -
        I think its a pretty accurate article with some very valid points
      1. Swordfish II's Avatar
        Swordfish II -
        Parts are valid and parts are not. They lost all credibility when they stated "how our ancestors ate..." Sorry but our ancestors also had much shorter life spans (30 was ancient during the paleolithic era), and please tell me the last time you hunted down and killed your food like "our ancestors"
      1. rricketts's Avatar
        rricketts -
        I doubt that the short life span of our ancestors had anything to do with not consuming carbs. That point is to show that the body doesn't necessarily need carbs, especially starches. Plenty of energy from fats
      1. Clemenza's Avatar
        Clemenza -
        I usually take whatever the huffington post says, and do/believe the complete opposite
      1. Vengeance187's Avatar
        Vengeance187 -
        Originally Posted by Swordfish II View Post
        They lost all credibility when they stated "how our ancestors ate..." Sorry but our ancestors also had much shorter life spans
        If you think their short life expectancy had anything to do with their diet, then you don't know WTF you're talking about...
        (30 was ancient during the paleolithic era), and please tell me the last time you hunted down and killed your food like "our ancestors"
        Yeah, you clearly don't know WTF you're talking about. 30 was not "ancient", 33 was the average life expectancy in the paleolithic era; and if they made it to age 15 then the average expectancy was at least 54 years. The average life expectancy in the early 20th century was only 31.
        The last time I hunted my own food was last hunting season. We don't get to do that when ever we want anymore. We only get a month.
      1. Swordfish II's Avatar
        Swordfish II -
        Originally Posted by rricketts View Post
        I doubt that the short life span of our ancestors had anything to do with not consuming carbs. That point is to show that the body doesn't necessarily need carbs, especially starches. Plenty of energy from fats
        My point is you cannot make an apples to apples comparison with us and them. Thousands of years of evolution has occured between the two. Who knows if "our ancestors" would have run into the same problems in old age that we currently have despite not eating carbs. Maybe the problem with most people today is more a factor of contaminants in carbs/grain from the poluted air and water (compared to the Paleo era).

        Simply put there are far two many differences between the two societies/cultures to make a specific generalization. It is simply bad science to leap to such conclusions, especially when there are so many programs of eatting that incorporate carbs with no problems (eg Skip Loading)

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