In the weight loss discussion there is much talk about whether you should cut carbs to lose weight. My answer to that question is: yes and no.
I answer no, because there are some carbs that are essential for good health and sustainable weight loss.
I answer yes, because I recommend the removal of highly processed and refined foods that increase blood sugar levels.
Carbohydrates are the scientific way to describe foods that get broken down into simple sugars. ALL vegetables, fruits and grains are considered carbs.
I don’t know of any diet plans that recommend the removal of all vegetables, fruits and grains out of the diet.
I think a better question is what type of carbs are best to eat when I want to lose weight?
Carbohydrates can be grouped into fast carbs and slow carbs.
Fast carbs are carbohydrates that break down into simple sugars very quickly in the body, and cause blood sugars to rise quickly too.
Slow carbohydrates generally have fiber in them so they raise blood sugars more slowly.
We use the glycemic load and the glycemic index to define foods as either fast carbs or slow carbs.
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food is absorbed into the bloodstream and elevates blood sugar.
The glycemic load is the glycemic index for a particular serving size of a food.
So fast carbs are food that rank high on the glycemic index and the glycemic load charts.
Examples of fast carbs are white breads, cereals, some fruits, desserts, some starchy vegetables, junk foods, and highly processed foods.
When fast carbs are eaten several times per day or daily they tend to elevate blood sugar levels and cause our bodies to store fat which is the opposite of what you want when trying to lose weight. They also put you at higher risk for chronic diseases like pre-diabetes, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
Slow carbs are foods that rank low on the glycemic index and glycemic load charts. These foods generally have fiber in them and they slowly raise blood sugar without creating insulin spikes.