Carbohydrates are the dietary enemy of the day, with many low carbohydrate diets in many forms gaining attention in research studies, and popularity in the media. Dietary fear-mongering isn’t new: there’s been a history of fear-mongering related to diets that sees to have a new target every few years. The following topics are now accepted (with good reason), but were once vilified and actively recommended against:
- Dietary fats
- High protein diets
There is some good reason for some of the fear-mongering around carbohydrates: they are super palatable, and are a very clear “growth and storage” signal for the body, which runs counter to many people’s goals of losing weight and decreasing body fat. Some diets recommend completely eliminating carbs, while some diets recommend only eating carbs at certain times of day. When we think about the purpose of the macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) it’s important to remember what they are: energy! There has to be a balance between the energy we take in and the energy we use: if we get the balance right, it can help us reach our goals, and if we get it wrong, we can have a hard time gaining or losing weight.
It’s important to remember that carbohydrates are not evil (in fact, they’re essential). Thinking any food is evil creates unhealthy relationships with food as a whole. Yes, excess refined carbohydrates can cause some weight gain, and yes, decreasing carbohydrates may help to curb some weight gain, but this has more to do with increased overall calories, and the ease of eating refined carbohydrates.
Diet is one health aspect that does need to be assessed on a case by case basis: the most important aspect of ANY diet is how long YOU can sustain the change, and that is variable from person to person. If a dietary change is going to be fleeting, but you want your goals to be lasting, then there’s a mixup between the plan and the expected results.
If you want to talk more with Dr. Krause about diet and nutrition, contact us here to set up an appointment.