Carbohydrates have gotten bad reputation over the years; many people believe blame them for weight gain and other health related issues. However, the truth is that they actually help control your weight and they have been shown to help reduce the risk for a number of diseases.
*Related: The Best Carbs for Weight Loss
Carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, protein and rich in antioxidants. Citrus fruits specifically help protect against heart disease, improve your vision, protect against type 2 diabetes and promote healthy bones.
There are three types of carbohydrates – sugar, starch and fiber. The healthiest options are fiber-filled fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries and watermelons. Whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products are also healthy as well.
Here are 6 reasons why you should be eating carbs.
1. Carbs help control your weight- Many people believe that carbs make you fat, when the truth is that, if consumed moderately they can actually help control your weight and aid in weight loss. Some of the best carbs for weight loss include rye, quinoa, lentils, barley and oatmeal.
2. Carbs help boost your mood- Carbohydrates can boost your tryptophan levels, leading to more serotonin synthesized in the brain and a better mood. Smart carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables will have a better effect.
3. Carbs help control your blood sugar levels- Carbs are the body’s main source of energy, according to Cleveland Clinic. “Good carbohydrates, such as quinoa and oatmeal, contain a lot of fiber so your body breaks them down slowly. This keeps you feeling full and stabilizes your blood sugar levels,” they explain.
4. Carbs improve your brain function- Your brain needs carbohydrates to function properly. It runs on glucose, and you get glucose from carbs. According to a study “the human brain uses up to 25% of the body’s energy budget and up to 60% of blood glucose. While synthesis of glucose from other sources is possible, it is not the most efficient way, and these high glucose demands are unlikely to have been met on a low carbohydrate diet.”
5. Carbs give you energy- Carbohydrates give your cells the energy that they need. They “provide the same amount of energy in the form of calories as protein, with 4 calories per gram, but less than fat, with 9 calories per gram,” according to SFGATE. Carbs such as starches are digested slower, therefore providing you with longer-lasting energy than simple carbs, like sugars.
6. Carbs help fight diseases- Carbs rich in fiber have been shown to help fight certain diseases, some of which include type 2 diabetes and obesity. It helps aid in digestion and reduces the risk of some heart related issues.