Are carbs really evil?

CARBS MAKE YOU FAT. This is maybe the biggest myth in nutrition.

By Eléonore de Richecour, certified CERDEN nutritionist (find her full bio at the end of this article).

Yes, carbs will make you fat if you eat the wrong kind or if you eat too much of it. Actually, any food can cause weight gain if you overeat, whether your diet is high in fat or high in carbohydrates. Simply put, if you frequently consume more energy than your body uses, you will probably gain weight.

When you eat carbs, these are transformed into glucose aka blood sugar in order to provide your body and brain with energy. Any unused glucose is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen for use later. When your body runs out of glucose in the bloodstream, it will begin to break down and metabolize glycogen for energy. Glycogen is the reason why we do not need to eat every 15-20 minutes to keep energized. Only if you’re eating a lot more calories per day than you are burning, your liver will convert excess calories from carbohydrates into fats. Hello love handles !

Carbs are so important as these are the preferred source of energy for your muscles and brain cells. This being said, not all carbs are equals: donuts are carbs but dark leafy greens also contain carbs. In fact, we could divide the carbs’ family into 2 groups.

On the one hand, we have the simple carbs that can typically be found in donuts, pastries sweets and many industrial cakes & cookies. These foods get broken down rapidly, spiking blood sugar and allowing for a short burst of energy. But afterwards, you pay the bill with a solid energy crash and a sudden need to sleep. Remember this from the last time you ate the whole Ben&Jerry pot?

On the other hand we have the complex carbs that you can find in foods such as peas, beans, whole grains (brown rice, brown pasta, millet, boulgour, buckwheat…), fruits and vegetables. These are the best for prolonged energy levels as they are digested at a slow, consistent rate thanks to the fibers they contain. Additionally, complex carbohydrate foods differ from refined sugars as they are high in vitamins and minerals which are essential for your health.

Now that you know the difference between simple and complex carbs; make sure the complex ones make up for most of your carbohydrates’ intake. They will keep you energized throughout the day, fuel your brain and help you sleep like a baby. It does not mean you cannot eat a piece of cake or a cookie once in a while; but keep it exceptional :)


A little bit more about me:

I am a CERDEN certified nutritionist and tend to have a holistic approach of health, where the mind and body are seen as one. I am therefore convinced that food is the cause but also the solution for many illnesses. During our first consultation, we conduct a nutrition assessment and take your measurements thanks to a diagnostic scale (that indicates the fat, muscle and water percentage). Based on these elements, we elaborate an attainable and sustainable nutrition plan that fits your needs and your lifestyle. The main objective is to give you the keys for a better health condition !