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Carbohydrates Myths and the Truth Behind Them

By Sara Butler

For many years now, carbohydrates have been seen as a bit of an outcast in the nutritional community. A lot of popular diets severely limit carbohydrate intake. The problem is, carbohydrates are an essential nutrient your body needs to function optimally. Not getting enough can lead to some not-so-pleasant side effects such as low energy levels.

The truth is that carbohydrates are not an enemy of your health and wellness. Here are some of the most pervasive myths about carbohydrates and the truth behind them.

Myth No. 1: Eating Carbohydrates Make You Gain Fat

Some people have been lead to believe that carbohydrates can be stored by the body more easily as fat than other nutrients, such as fat or protein. This simply isn't true.

When your body breaks down carbohydrates, it turns them into sugar. Carbs are very easy for the body to break down because they're used as the primary fuel source for the brain. Your body wants to make sure your brain is well fueled, after all.

However, excess sugar can trigger your body to conserve energy for later, so it's mostly stored as glycogen in the liver or muscles to be used later. The truth is that storing energy for later in the form of fat is laborious for your body, so it's normally the last option that it'll take. Fat usually only gets created when you eat far more calories than your body can use.

Myth No. 2: A Carbohydrate is a Carbohydrate

Some people think that all carbohydrates are created equal, but that's not the case at all. Carbohydrates come in many forms and some are better for you than others.

Fruit, whole grains, and beans are all good for you, it's the refined carbohydrates that aren't. Stay away from processed carbohydrates such as white bread and white sugar and you will find your health improves.

Myth No. 3: You Get Addicted to Processed Carbohydrates

Foods like carbohydrates are not physically addictive. Of course, there are emotional and behavioral reasons behind the things people sometimes eat that can make it feel addictive, but you're not going to be able to say no to ice cream if you really want to.

Remember, food is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Food doesn't have power over you, only your thoughts about food. You can enjoy things in moderation and still be healthy, you just have to change your thinking a bit.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Machesney Park, Ill.

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