Carbs: Good or Evil?

Carbs are evil!

Wait. Carbs are great!

Wait again.

The headlines bounce back and forth as people rush about on the carbs pendulum in America. Everyone seems to know someone who lost a ton of weight by eating few carbs. And everyone seems to know someone who gained back a ton of weight after they went off their close-to-zero carbs diet.

Does that mean that carbs are bad?

Not exactly.

As this study recently pointed out, carbs in moderation might be the golden answer.

“Just as many would-be dieters thought they had finally found the secret to quick, efficient weight loss, an NIH-funded study touted as the largest ever of its kind and published in the medical journal The Lancet Public Health, suggests low and high-carb diets could shorten life by up to four years, and diets including some carbs could actually promote a healthy lifespan.”

It seems that if we replace carbs with fat and protein, we could shorten our lifespan. But if we replace fat and protein with carbs, we could become obese and shorten our lifespan. So, what’s a person to do?

Remember what your mom told you: everything in moderation.

We need carbs to fuel our healthy lifestyle choices (like lifting, running, sports, etc.) but we need to pick those carbs of the healthy kind (like fruits and vegetables) and eat them at the right times. Ever try to eat a pound of celery? Not an easy thing to do. You’re going to be chewing for a long time and you’re not going to consume many calories. But eat a pound of bread and you’re going to ram a lot of calories into your system fast. One source is a much healthier choice for carbs than the other.

So be smart and eat healthy carbs to fuel your body and live a long and healthy life. None of your major macro groups are inherently evil. We all need carbs, protein, and fat in our diet.

Choose wisely and don’t veer to extremes. The keto diet and low-carb and no-carb diets can be effective in the short-term for some people, but lifelong health and fitness goals need a long-term strategy. Smart and healthy carbs are the way to get there.