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The Truth about Carbohydrates

Are foods rich in carbohydrates the main culprits of weight gain? Most people trying to lose weight would avoid foods such as pasta, potatoes, bread, rice and cereals. Also, with low carb diets gaining popularity, this opinion seems to have become more consolidated.

Additionally, people often hear that the wheat in foods such as pasta and bread causes bloating, which has led to the belief that cutting out carbohydrates from our diets will help in weight loss.

This has left quite a few people confused whether they should include foods rich in carbohydrates in their weight loss diets.

Do Carbohydrates Actually Lead to Weight Gain?

Most health experts agree that there is no actual proof of carbohydrate rich food leading to more weight gain than any other food group. Ultimately, it all boils down to the excess of calories we consume which leads to weight gain, regardless of where those calories are coming from.

In most cases, it is the fat we consume with the carbohydrates which increases the calorie content. So, the creamy sauce we eat with pasta, the butter on the bread or fried potato would be the main culprits. Diets that recommend cutting out carbohydrate rich foods to lose weight work by reducing the calorie consumption. If a weight loss diet cuts out certain foods like potatoes, pasta, bread or rice, it also cuts out the calories. This is what leads to weight loss.

Most carbohydrate rich foods, especially the unprocessed ones, like wholegrain cereals, whole meal bread and whole wheat pasta contain a lot of minerals and vitamins, are low in fat content and are an important source of fiber. Cutting out these carbs makes it difficult to meet the daily recommended intake (18 grams a day) of fiber. Fiber is necessary for a healthy digestive system and to avoid conditions like hemorrhoids, constipation and diverticular diseases. Also, foods high in fiber are more filling than other foods, so they are a great choice for losing weight. Apart from that, there is also evidence that wholegrain found in carbohydrate rich foods such as whole wheat pasta, wholegrain cereal, oats and brown rice have a number of other health benefits such as keeping the heart healthy and helping to control our blood sugar levels and weight.

What You Should Do

Do not cut out carbohydrates completely from your weight loss diet. Opt for high fiber carbohydrates, such as wholegrain cereal, brown rice, whole meal bread and whole wheat pasta. They pack in more fiber and nutrients than the white processed varieties, thus helping to fill you up more. Also avoid adding too much of fat to these foods.

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