4 Reasons You Need to Eat Carbs
Poor carbohydrates have been victimized for too long and it's time to put a stop to it. Between Atkins, Paleo, Keto and all the other diet fads, many have become accustomed to dropping out the carbs when they need to lose weight.
Carbs are needed as a part of a healthy diet and removing them won't be the magic wand in your weight loss efforts, maintenance or health journey.
First and foremost, let's simply define a carbohydrate. Carbs are broken down into glucose, which is then converted into the energy that helps run all functions of the body.Glucose is the bodies preferred method of energy and there needs to be about 100g of glucose a day for the brain and body to run properly.*
As those carbs are broken down into glucose, the body also stores glycogen which is where you tap into during high intensity exercise or long endurance events.
Important to note, 1 gram of glycogen holds about 3-4 grams of water. This is why you generally experience fast weight loss when initially cutting carbs: you're not losing fat, you're losing water. This holds true for gaining weight after eating carbs again, you haven't gained 10 pounds overnight. Your glycogen stores are filled and you've gained water weight.
There are carbohydrates in just about everything you eat, sans pure fats (like oils) and while quality matters, all carbs will eventually be broken down to glucose. Some do it faster (think white bread, pastas, pure sugar) while others go more slowly (think dense grains).
But, why do we actually need carbs?
1. Hormonal Health
This goes for mostly women, although men can certainly have effects too. Carbohydrates are essential to hormonal health and balance. If you are doing lots of exercise (especially high intensity), have a decent amount of stress, are tired all the time, have irregular or missing cycles, or are pregnant/breastfeeding, you may need more carbohydrates. If you gain weight just looking at food or are cold all the time, you might also need more carbs. Most of the time, these symptoms come from not having enough energy to perform the daily tasks your life is demanding.
The graphic below from Hungry Hobby demonstrates one of the ways a low carb diet can wreak havoc on your hormones.
If you're constipated, bloated, have distention in the stomach, diarrhea or any other un-diagnosed digestive issues, you might want to try eating more fiber. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive tract and weight. Fiber is very basically undigested particles a