Carbohydrates: the good, the bad and the useful

There has been much debate among health enthusiasts, personal trainers and even doctors regarding carbohydrates and their advantages and disadvantages. While some of the information has been useful, other pieces have not been useful even mistaken.

So once and for all, here we are to clear up exactly what carbs can do for you and your health goals.

The first thing is that carbs are broken into two categories, “bad” and “good” carbs. The differences between the two is how they effect your body once you ingest them. In recent years there has been debate whether you should limit the amount of carbs you take in or even give them up all together. This is where the information can become misleading.

Carbohydrates are classified into the categories of good and bad not because you should stop eating the bad carbs all together, but more because you should be aware that these carbs should be ingested with moderation. Just like eating too much red meat can be hazardous to your health, eating too many carbs can be dangerous not only to your fight against the bulge but to your blood sugar and other aspects of your health.

Carbohydrates are the fuel that energize your body. Without them, while yes you can survive and go on about your life, your body will begin to kickstart processes which will inevitably be counter productive to any fitness regimen you may be following, not to mention seriously put your health at risk. When you reduce your carb intake below the amount your body needs to survive, your body will begin to take measures to “preserve” what energy it has while using hormones like adipsin and leptin to find other sources of energy. Those sources? Your stored supplies of protein(muscles) and fat.

While you may be thinking great, now my body will use my fat storages up so I will be losing weight, you’re only half correct. At the beginning you will see weight loss, but that will quickly change once adipsin enters the equation. Adipsin will start turning carbs into fat, easily changing any carbs you consume into fat quicker than you will be consuming them. And from our past blog, you know leptin acts similar in its mission to slow down your metabolism, so in turn once you fly past the initial weight loss after cutting or limiting your carbs you actually will begin gaining weight from the decrease in metabolism, the easier it will be for your body to store fat and not to mention an increase in your appetite.

So while we do acknowledge that cutting back on “bad” carbs is a good idea to lose weight, you may want to remember a few things before you go Jack the Ripper on carbs. Carbs supply your body with energy, fiber, B-vitamins, magnesium and other nutrients. Cutting carbs to an unhealthy level will inevitably cause your body to easily store fat, lower your metabolism and increase your levels of counter productive hormones like adipsin and leptin.

Dedicated to your results,

Breakthroughs to Fitness

Long Island Personal Trainers

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