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The Case for Carbs: What's the Right Balance?

By Genevieve Cunningham

Carbohydrates get an incredibly bad rap. When most people think of carbs, they imagine weight gain and poor health. We’ve been conditioned to believe that carbs are bad, end of story. But are they really the devil’s food? Or are they getting a worse reputation than they deserve? While too many carbs can certainly be detrimental to your health, take a look at these reasons to make sure you’re getting enough in your diet.

Carbs Provide Energy

Carbohydrates are responsible for giving your body a quick boost of energy. Our body takes the carbohydrates and converts them to sugar, which we then use to boost energy levels. While there are other ways to get energy, such as protein, carbs are still important for that quick acting, quick release energy that we all need throughout the day.

Carbs Fight Hunger

Carbohydrates can help you feel fuller longer. While you don’t want to completely fill your plate with carbs, choosing a few of the right kind can help you keep hunger at bay for longer periods of time. This means that you won’t feel the need to stuff your face a mere two hours after eating -- and then two hours after that. Balance the amount of carbs and protein on your plate to give you the best chance of feeling full without overdoing the calories and heavy feeling that comes with some types of carbs.

How Do I Get Enough Carbs?

While it’s easy to say that you need carbs in your diet (and you do!), it’s a lot tougher to figure out how to get the proper amount.The key is finding the healthiest carbs that you can and taking advantage of them in your diet. Try to stay away from white starchy carbs such as white bread, white rice, and similar items. Instead, go for complex carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, and lentils. Learning how to choose the right carbs is the perfect way to enjoy carbohydrates in your diet without ruining your long-term health.

Should you shy away from all carbs? No way! You need some carbs in your diet for energy and the nutrients that they provide. But it’s incredibly important to choose the right kinds of carbs. Use these tips to add carbs to your diet in a healthy way so that you can enjoy your meal and your health for years to come.

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