Carbs have been demonised for decades in the weight loss and health community and there was a time where most of us were led to believe that carbs are the “bad guys” when it comes to losing weight in a healthy manner.
However, several new studies have found that carbs and especially complex carbs can actually be good for you. Many of what we knew in the past about carbs are actually myths that have been debunked by numerous scientific studies. Here are the most common ones:
Myth 1: “White potatoes are bad for you”.
It is a well-known fact that sweet potatoes are a healthier option compared to ordinary white potatoes but that doesn’t mean white potatoes are actually bad for you and should be excluded from your diet. A medium boiled potato or a jacket with no extra fattening toppings is just 218 calories and supplies 11% of the daily recommended allowance of fiber, which is enough to make you full and satiated for longer. Plus, one white potato covers 12% of our daily requirements in magnesium and 24% in potassium. There really is no reason why you shouldn't ditch these. The only type to avoid is french fries as they are loaded with extra trans fat which can sabotage your health and weight loss efforts.
Myth 2: “You don’t need any carbs during workout”
This myth has been circulating for years and was even supported by old fitness experts but the reality is, carbs are actually beneficial when working out. When you are eating carbs before or after a workout, your body converts them into glycogen which is actually the primary source of fuel for your muscles. If you want to prepare and protect your muscles from any strain or damage during workout, you will need plenty of glycogen or else you risk losing your energy fast and placing extra strain on your muscles. This is why many fitness gurus and professionals recommend that you take around 50 grams of complex carbs e.g two bananas or a peanut butter toast at least 1 hour before your workout.
Myth 3: It’s better to swap sugar with artificial sweeteners
Many, even so-called “experts” suggest that it is better to replace ordinary sugar with artificial sweeteners to reduce the number of calories you take from sweets, but there are two basic issues with this theory. Not only are artificial sweeteners e.g aspartame bad for your health, but they can also indirectly sabotage your weight loss efforts. According to a 2018 study of Harvard’s School of Public Health, artificial sweeteners like aspartame or processed stevia syrups can actually decrease your body’s ability to count calories, which may induce sudden episodes of hunger as a result. All these artificial sweeteners are simply what we call “empty calories” which have zero benefits for your health and waistline.