Diet Myth #4: Eating Low or No Carb is the Healthiest Diet Solution

I don’t know about you, but so far, Dr. Mark Hyman’s principles from his book

Ultrametabolism

, have turned my ideas about dieting upside down. This week’s myth is especially pertinent, because can any of us really say that we haven’t tried out a low-carb diet?

The fact is that carbohydrates are the most important food in your diet in terms of long term health and providing energy for your daily activities. Cutting them out may take off the pounds in the short term, but this can also result in lower energy and can slow down your metabolism as well as decrease your energy level. Diets such as the Atkins diet that suggest simply cutting out carbs can actually do more harm than good to your body.

Just as all fats are not equal nutritionally, neither are carbs. Whole, unprocessed carbohydrates that are high in fiber speed up your metabolism and give you maximum energy. These are the carbs found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. The key is to pay attention to the glycemic index of the food (for more information see here), and eat foods high in fiber. Fiber soaks up the fat and sugar in your body, and is vital to your ability to metabolize carbs.

In summary, yes, refined white breads, pastas, and sugars will cause you to gain weight. However, picking the right carbs will give you energy and speed up your metabolism, causing you to lose weight. Going on a low carb diet may take off the pounds, but it is not the healthiest way to achieve low-term weight loss and more importantly, overall health.

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