Thanks to diet culture, many of us have a love-hate relationship with carbohydrates. We love them because they’re delicious and filling, but hate them because they’re considered unhealthy and fattening.
Samar Kullab, RDN, a registered dietitian and nutritionist known on TikTok as the Chicago dietitian, spoke to In The Know about why that negative reputation is undeserved.
“Carbs are our friends! They’re our body’s primary source of energy,” she said. “They help our GI system in keeping things regular. They also help prevent chronic diseases.”
Here are the three major carb myths Kullab busted.
Myth 1: ‘All carbs are created equal.’
As Kullab explained, there are two types of carbs: simple and complex.
Complex carbs have more fiber and nutrients in them and help you stay full for longer periods of time. These are things like quinoa, brown rice, whole grain bread, vegetables and even fruit.
Simple carbs are low in fiber and nutrients and don’t really keep us full. They’re broken down into sugar and digested fairly quickly. You’ll find simple carbs in white bread, white rice, pasta, chips, muffins, pretzels and so on.
Myth 2: ‘Cutting carbs means you’ll burn more fat.’
“Let’s try to rephrase that,” Kullab told In The Know. “Cutting packaged, processed foods with simple carbs out of your diet might lead to burning more fat.”
If you’re already in a calorie deficit, though, and your meals consist of complex carbs, proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats, you won’t need to cut any carbs to burn fat.
Myth 3: ‘Carbs are bad for your health.’
Carbs can be found in things like vegetables, fruits and dairy products, Kullab explained.
“If we don’t have enough vegetables and fruits in our diet, we’re not getting enough fiber and we’re not getting enough nutrients,” she said.
There you have it, folks — don’t let carb myths keep you from enjoying foods you like. As long as your meals are balanced and healthy, you can enjoy all foods in moderation without cutting carbs, feeling stressed out or feeling guilty.
“Enjoy it and do not let diet culture lead you with the misinformation,” Kullab told In The Know.
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