Do you think carbs make you fat? If you do, you’re not alone. Lots of people I speak to think that they’re going to get fat eating pasta, rice and potatoes.
Well, that’s not strictly true. It all depends on what kind you’re eating and what you’re eating them with.
It’s the one myth, above all, that I like to debunk. People think that the sugars in starches are very easily converted into fat. They think they’re carrying extra fat on their tummy, hips, thighs and bottom because they eat too many starches. WRONG!
There’s lots of research out there, I’ve listed some of it at the end of this post, that makes it pretty clear that it’s all just a myth.
When we eat complex carbohydrates our body breaks them down into simple sugars. Once broken down these simple sugars are transported around our bodies in our blood steam to millions and trillions of cells to provide them with energy.
If you eat more carbs than your body needs, guess what it does? Yes, it does store about two pounds invisibly in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen, but once it’s done that you’ll just burn the rest off as body heat and through physical activity such as walking, typing at the computer, doing household chores and fidgeting!
The secret to eating carbs?
Eat unrefined carbs and stay away from the refined carbohydrates. It’ as simple as that. The refined carbs have been stripped of their fibre, vitamins and minerals, they’ll do you no good at all.
Focus on unrefined carbs as they’re bursting with nutrition. Take the humble little, or sometimes not so little potato. Did you know that it’s bursting full of protein, iron, phosphorous, thiamin, niacin, vitamins C and B6 as well as many minerals?
Potatoes, weight for weight have fewer calories than steak! When you combine them with fat such as sour cream, butter or cheese, that’s when they become fattening.
Remember that they’re very nutritious when they’re eaten as close to their natural state as possible.
So now that you know the truth, there’ s no reason you shouldn’t eat whole wheat pasta, brown rice, legumes and off course delicious potatoes!
Hellerstein MK. De novo lipogenesis in humans: metabolic and regulatory aspects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 Apr; 53 Suppl 1: S53-65
Acheson KJ, Schutz Y, Bessard T, et al. Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Aug; 48 (2) 240-4
Minehira K, Bettschart V, Vidal H, et al. Effect of carbohydrate overfeeding on whole body and adipose tissue metabolism in humans. Obes Res. 2003 Sep; 11 (9): 1096-1103
Tappy L. Metabolic consequences of overfeeding in humans. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004 Nov; 7 (6) 623-8
Levine JA. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Best Pract res Clin Edocrinol Metab. 2002 Dec; 16 (4): 679-702
Mickelsen O, Makdani DD, Cotton RH, Titcomb ST, Colmey JC, Gatty R, Effects of a high fiber diet on weight lossin college age males, Am J Clin Nutr. 1979 Aug; 32 (8): 1703-9.