Here are common misconceptions and why we should keep carbs in a balanced lifestyle.

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with carbs, but should we? Nutrition Expert Marissa Martorana stands up to our common misconceptions about carbs and why we should keep them in a balanced lifestyle.

Carbs! Why are they so beaten up and misunderstood?

Is it because the mainstream fad diet media bashes them like the one evil nutrient that is sabotaging your weight loss efforts?

Let’s come to the defense of this much-needed macronutrient:

An Essential Fuel

Carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet because they provide fuel to our brain and muscles. Carbohydrates are found in grain products, fruits, dairy, nuts, juices, desserts, beans, some alcohol, and even certain vegetables.

Part of a Balanced Diet

Most people who claim to have lost weight by “giving up carbs”. Typically, that means they eliminated or cut down on bread, pasta, rice, and other grains from their diet.  If someone literally gives up carbs, they dangerously limit their food choices, becoming unrealistic or unsafe for their long-term health.

The alarming misconception of carbohydrates requires further education to guide others to develop balanced eating patterns. This includes the appropriate amount and type of carbohydrate foods for their lifestyle and health goals.  

Healthy carbohydrates are fruits, root vegetables, certain dairy products, nuts, legumes, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and other grain products. All of those foods should absolutely take part in your balanced diet.

Staying Mindful

We get into trouble by eating an excessive amount of anything.  That includes carbs, even the good carbs.

Start by understanding how many grams of carbohydrates you need in a day based on your age, activity level, and health goals.  That is the first step to develop a healthy relationship with carbs, rather than fearing them.

The amount of carbohydrates needed in a day shock most people, and is far less than what is typically consumed, especially for those without an active lifestyle. Rather than blaming on carbs entirely, gain a better understanding of portion sizes. Read labels for serving sizes, and compare those numbers to the amount of carbohydrates that your lifestyle calls for.  

Grasping these key concepts will lead to a better lifestyle management of your health and weight,

Without making you feel deprived of such delicious, nutrient-rich carbs.

Adapted from the original article.

Marissa Martorana, RDN is a Los Angeles-based private practice dietitian specializing in chronic health management and general wellness.  Passionate about helping individuals of all ages manage and prevent disease through nutrition and exercise, she creates a safe environment for others to learn and thrive.  To learn more, visit Marissa!