Are Carbohydrates Making Me Fat?
Few would argue that enjoying a bag of popcorn while watching a movie or sipping a cup of cocoa at hearth aren’t pleasing to the palate and the soul, especially during these blustery winter months.
However, are these carbohydrates making me fat?
Can Carbs Make You Fat?
Well, for those of you who know me, realize that this is a rhetorical question which I will dispel the myth about, hopefully once and for all. Carbohydrates don’t make you fat. Gaining weight is the direct result of eating too many calories and not getting adequate exercise. There are also many conditions that can inhibit metabolism, however oftentimes the food overconsumption pre-disposes these metabolic insufficiencies.
Everybody needs carbohydrates in their most whole, unprocessed form. On the flip side, diets high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber may increase belly fat largely because these foods contribute little, if at all, to energy production, as they contain additives, preservatives, food colorings and have been stripped of nutrients.
Do Carbs Cause Weight Gain? What Is a Carbohydrate?
Perhaps we should clarify what a carb is. A carb, short for carbohydrate, is a sugar, starch and dietary fiber that is in plant foods and dairy products (lactose, or milk sugar).Breads, grains and pasta; nuts and legumes, starchy vegetables, milk and yogurt, fruits, snacks and sauces are all classified as carbohydrates.
Of these, where would you find the most useful calories? Think…is it from the earth, or is it made in a processing plant, packaged and marketed to appeal to your taste buds? If you said those from the earth, you are correct.
It is not difficult to understand why these other foods will make you fat. Typically when a food is packaged for taste and appeal, it is eaten for comfort and enjoyment, not out of hunger. When we eat a “pleasure food”, the pleasure centers in our brain are stimulated, they get high if you will, and refrain from sending signals to the belly that it is enough.
Once these signals are sent, it is too late, the belly has been overloaded and all other metabolic processes in the body are inhibited to deal with the overwhelm just experienced. Energy production, hormone metabolism, detoxification and the motivation to exercise have gone out the window, in lieu of managing a full belly of carbs.
Do Carbs Make You Gain Weight? What Does the Research Say?
However research shows that if we eat a balanced meal containing lean protein and vegetables prior to consuming starchy food, the brain will be more alert to the excess of carbs entering the gut.
Perhaps next time you are in the mood to curl up with a movie or a book, you might prepare a small, healthy meal as part of the loving indulgence upon which you are about to partake. Then perhaps a smaller bowl of unbuttered popcorn or almond, coconut or cashew non-dairy ice cream. Put a limit on the carbs to balance out the food intake with the energy output so that you actually have energy to exercise on the morning after!