Carbs Are Fattening And Other Outrageous Nutrition Myths Debunked

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KEY POINTS

  • Fat provides more energy, but carbohydrates provide fiber and antioxidants
  • Low-carb diet is not  the best way to lose weight
  • Not all carbs are fattening as some are actually very healthy

Carbohydrates have gained such a bad rap in the health and wellness community in recent years, and it is understandable as more trendy diets paint them in bad lighting to lift up the so-called “healthier” alternatives. But experts disagree and they even recently debunked the most outrageous myths about carbs.

Ditch carbs for fat for more energy 

There’s this claim that people should just ditch carbohydrates for fat because the latter provides more energy than the former. While this may be true, nutrition expert Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN told Men’s Health that fat does not provide fiber and other antioxidants compared to certain carbs. 

The human body needs proteins, carbs and fiber to carry out muscle-building processes and muscle repair. Fats could provide better fuel, but that’s just about it. Largeman-Roth said the key is to keep things balanced to cover all the body’s needs. 

Fruits and vegetables are the only sources of fiber

Many trendy diets give the impression that the human body only needs fruits and vegetables to satisfy dietary fiber needs, but this is only half true. Julie Miller Jones, Ph.D., of St. Catherine University and author of “Dietary Fibre: Bio-Active Carbohydrates for Food and Feed,” told the magazine that certain fiber can be obtained from carb sources only.

“While some fibers are the same, some are unique in structure and function. And guess what? There is no cereal fiber in fruits and vegetables. For example, the cholesterol-lowering B-glucan structure found in barley and oats is not found in fruits and vegetables,” Jones said.

Low-carb diet is the best way to lose weight

Many diets nowadays encourage people to lower their consumption of carbohydrates if they want to slim down. As a result, many would just avoid carbohydrates thinking that it’s a heathy move and a surefire way to lose weight. 

However, registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom said via the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s website that the low-carb diet isn’t really the best way to shed some pounds. It’s actually choosing the right carbs like whole grains, legumes and certain fruits and vegetables that could promote weight loss as well as improve overall health.

Carbs are ‘fattening’ so avoid them at all costs

The biggest myth surrounding carbohydrates is the notion that they are fattening. Many so-called “healthy” products on the market put out the message that carbs are causing weight gain. Though partly true, they forget to indicate that many carbs are actually healthy to the body. 

“I have many clients who tell me that they don’t eat carbs because they are ‘fattening.’ However, when we discuss their food logs, there are carbs all over the place—bananas and other fruit, oatmeal, protein bars, etc. They think they aren’t eating carbs when in fact they don’t know what a carb is in the first place,” TasteBalanceNutrition.com owner Lindsey Pine, MS, RDN, CSSD, CLT told Today’s Dietitian

Poplar markets sell fruit and vegetables as well as bread, honey and jam but the aim is to provide work for independent entrepreneurs Poplar markets sell fruit and vegetables as well as bread, honey and jam but the aim is to provide work for independent entrepreneurs Photo: AFP / RONALDO SCHEMIDT

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