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Ask Dr. Nandi: Good carb? Bad carb? 4 myths debunked

Posted at 5:51 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 17:55:06-05

When it comes to losing weight, there is no shortage of advice. And carbohydrates are often seen as the villain with popular diets promoting rapid weight loss if you cut them out.   

With so many confusing myths surrounding carbs, it’s time to debunk a few of them. 

The biggest myth is that carbs make you gain weight. Of course you’ll likely gain if you eat an entire chocolate cake or a large bag of cookies. 

But that’s not the type of carb I want you to focus on. Instead, I want you to eat complex carbohydrates.  These are whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and barley. 

They’re not considered to be fattening when you stick to the proper portion size.

Two other popular myths concern white foods. You might believe that only white foods contain carbs and should all be avoided. 

Yes, white processed foods and sweets can quickly raise your blood sugar levels and cause inflammation. But potatoes, cauliflower, onions and garlic are nutrient-rich white foods. They have antioxidants and support immunity.   

The last myth to bust is that fruit is bad because it has sugar in it. Yes there is sugar in fruit but it’s all-natural and you’ll also get fiber, vitamins and minerals. So make fruit a part of your healthy eating lifestyle.

If you want to avoid weight gain, you need to pay attention to how much you eat along with what you eat. Because all carbs raise blood glucose levels but some are faster than others. 

So here are my prescriptions:

  1. All carbs should not be avoided. They are our bodies main source of fuel and can provide us with essential nutrients.
  2. Choose carbs that have fiber and protein. They’ll raise blood glucose more slowly and keep you feeling fuller longer.
  3. Don’t measure or weigh your food. The amount of carbs per meal should roughly fill a regular sized coffee mug or be about the size of a woman's fist.
  4. I don’t believe in deprivation. All carbs can be a part of a healthy lifestyle just follow my 80-20 rule. 80% eat healthy leaving 20% for the occasional treat.

I hope this helps you to better understand carbs so you can incorporate the right carbs in your diet!