Don’t Count Out the Carbs

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Carbs are more than just “those bad things in bread.”

In the last couple of decades, carbs have become one of the numerous culinary boogeymen that fad diets all demand you cut out of your life entirely. “Don’t eat bread, it’s full of carbs! You’ll get fat!” And yeah, if you eat nothing but bread, you’ll probably get a little fat. But a balanced intake of carbohydrates is a part of any healthy body, no matter what some rando on Twitter tells you.

Carbs are your body’s main source of energy. The glucose in your bloodstream is broken down by carbs and circulated to the rest of your body. Yes, overindulging in carbs could mess up your blood glucose levels, which may increase your risk of diabetes, but if you cut them out altogether, you could leave yourself tired and lethargic, yet, paradoxically, unable to get a good night’s sleep. Carbs also act as reserve energy; if you don’t have any energy in reserve when you go to bed, your body won’t have anything to work with when it sets to repairing itself.

Even putting all that aside, attempting to completely cut all carbs out of your life will deprive you of multiple healthy foods in the process. The good kinds of carbs, that being simple carbs and complex carbs, come primarily from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I don’t think I need to explain why eating none of those things is a bad idea.

If you want to cut back on something, try dialing back the refined carbs, which come primarily from things like white bread, pasta, and cake. Refined carbs have been heavily processed and contain sweeteners like corn syrup. Those carbs you’re more than welcome to abstain from.