Aren’t Carbohydrates Bad for you?

Getting to the bottom of the Carb debacle…

I gotta tell you, as a holistic nutritionist and a plant advocate, not much is more frustrating to me than the confusion surrounding carbohydrates. I could probably write a book on the subject, but I’m sure you don’t have time for that today, so let me boil this down…

If you’re confused and have jumped on and off the low-carb, no carb train, I can’t say that I blame you. It’s down right confusing!

  • TRUE: Popular diets with dramatic results (think Keto and Adkins) shame the carb and prove that cutting them out does result in weight loss.
  • TRUE: Carbohydrates are your body’s natural and preferred source of energy to function optimally.
  • TRUE: High carbohydrate diets have been linked to obesity and diabetes.
  • TRUE: Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of a well balanced and healthy diet and they all contain carbs.

How in the world can that ALL be true?

While it sounds like a complex problem, there is actually a simple answer: NOT ALL CARBS ARE CREATED EQUAL!
Carbohydrates, in the right form, in the right quantity at the right time are not the devil. Not even natural sugar itself. But the trouble is that the majority of carbohydrates consumed today are:
  1. Overly processed and stripped of the natural goodness your body needs, including vitamins and minerals.
  2. Low in fiber making them high glycemic, wreaking havoc on your blood sugar.
  3. Energy dense, contributing to an excess of calories with little to no satiation (feeling full) or nutrition so we simply eat too much and still lack the nutrients our bodies need.

So without getting to into the weeds on this, you can trust that an unprocessed, colorful carbohydrates are not the problem today. Overly refined and processed, white carbs are.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet to help seal the deal today:

EAT: Raw fruit in natural form (think whole peaches, not canned peaces in syrup), vegetables (even starchy ones come with good nutrition), whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, farrow), legumes (beans, lentils, peas), nuts and seeds.

SKIP: Fruit juice (just eat the fruit and get the fiber), soda, energy drinks (idk even if they are sugar free), white bread, white rice, pastries, cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream, fried potatoes, chips, crackers.

It’s not to say a healthy diet doesn’t also have a little room for the occasional low quality carb. But the more good ones you eat and the less bad ones you don’t, the better you will feel.

And personally, I’m sick and tired of popular diets villainizing our plant based, good for you carbs and shaming people into cutting them out. Nobody got diabetes from eating too many veggies, whole grains and nothing else. Our quinoa is not the problem.

Please join me in the Veggie Movement. Please enjoy eating your fruits, veggies, whole grans and legumes in peace and feeling healthy, happy and well!