a case for carbs

BREAKING NEWS! 

I’ve done it. I’ve officially discovered a quick and easy way to lose weight and get healthy. All you have to do is stop eating sugar! No wait…stop eating fats! Inject pregnancy hormones into your body! Take in ridiculous amounts of protein! Do a 5-day juice cleanse! Eat only raw foods! Cut out carbs! Stand on your head, suck in your stomach, and only ingest food that can be sucked through a straw…!

April Fools. 

Sounds ridiculous, right? That’s because it is. But all of the things I listed above are actual diet misconceptions that society has fallen for at some point (okay, maybe not the last one…) We constantly have diet fads forced down our throat and it’s hard not to fall victim to their lofty promises.

fad diets

In the 90’s “low-fat” and “fat-free” were all the rage. Thankfully, more and more people are realizing that not all fats are bad, In fact, they can be good! Remember when Claire mentioned that we need Omega 3’s for healthy hair? It’s true! And our bodies need fats for a variety of other reasons as well.

Nowadays there seems to be an uprising of the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. It promises weight-loss (at a fairly rapid pace) and an increase in lean muscle mass. Plus, you don’t have to avoid fats or protein! Sounds fabulous, right? But we all seem to be forgetting one major thing…

Our bodies need carbohydrates! 

Carbs come in two forms- Simple and Complex. Simple Carbohydrates are refined and processed foods like white bread, white sugar, etc. Complex Carbohydrates are generally higher in fiber and are things like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Knowing the difference between these two is crucial because, while simple carbohydrates aren’t very beneficial, complex carbohydrates are! They provide our bodies with energy, aid in satiety (feeling and staying full), and fill in nutritional gaps.

ComplexCarbs

Recently society started blaming our obesity epidemic on carbohydrates alone (which is ironically what happened with fats in the 90’s) but no one macronutrient is to blame for our countries weight problem. Weight gain and obesity occur when the number of calories a person consumes exceeds the number of calories they expend. So, all of the fad diets are useless. Cutting out an entire food group may lead to weight loss initially solely because you’re consuming less calories overall but the results are typically temporary. Not to mention, who wants to label anything “off-limits”?! That’s no fun.

Being healthy is about finding a balance that works for you. Focus on nourishing your body with healthy foods that you enjoy and stop trying to find a quick weight-loss solution. There isn’t one. There’s no magic pill or diet regimen and your body needs nutrients from every food group to function properly. Too much or too little of anything can have negative results. So, take a deep breath and relax. In my opinion, the more we worry and obsess over food, the more of a problem it becomes.

Eat to live. Don’t live to eat.

LePain

And, for heaven’s sake, EAT SOME CARBS. They’re delicious.

Here’s to being healthy and happy…

-Emily

22 comments
  1. A-TO THE FREAKING-MEN!!!! I agree 100%! Do not even try to take carbs away from this girl. They’re my favorite food group! And I hate to say it but all those diets that claim wheat is the devil, grains suck, and fruit should be limited (ahem *paleo*), are just plain wrong. I know I’ll get some flack for that but even DOCTORS and DIETITIANS say that cutting out food groups all together makes us deficient in the nutrients that those foods provides. The key is to just not go overboard on anything but to have a little bit from every food group!

    Oh and sorry about the whole LA trip thing! My sister thought the trafic would be to crazy on sunday and that we’d end up spending most of the day in the car, so we went to Laguna instead! But hopefully we’ll be able to meet up in the future! Hope your easter was good!

    • Emily said:

      Exactly! I get quite a bit of backlash from my friends that are following the Paleo diet whenever I bring up this topic. They swear by their high-protein/high-fat, low-carb lifestyle. It’s frustrating but I guess it’s not my place to tell them what they should or shouldn’t be eating. I just know it would never work for me & I definitely don’t think it’s healthy to cut out entire food groups!

      And don’t worry about it at all! I completely understand. It was a crazy weekend. I’m really glad you had a good time though. (:

  2. This is the dieting misconception I dislike the most. Whole grains are a big part of my daily diet and I have never gained a pound from it even when my calorie counter says I’ve gone a little bit over carb intake for the day. More people could really benefit from complex carbs rather than jumping on the latest diet or workout fad.

    • Emily said:

      Seriously! Me either!
      What gets me the most is when people cut out whole grains AND limit fruits/veggies to cut down on carb consumption. Um, I’m sorry, but what planet are you living on?? Those are the things we SHOULD be eating.

    • Emily said:

      My favorite! An addiction that was inspired by you, actually. 😀

  3. Hahaha I love this! I definitely agree with you. The only reason people should cut certain foods out of their diet is for medical reasons, NOT for weight loss!

  4. Taylor said:

    I agree with this, so many people look down on carbs but honestly I feel so much better when I eat it in moderation!

    • Emily said:

      Me too! Years ago (when I was in high school) I cut out carbs to try to lose weight and do a “cleanse”…let’s just say I was NOT a fun person to be around. haha.

  5. Oh my goodness carbs are my friend. I don’t ever want to see them go. Reason number 1 why I could never, ever be paleo.

  6. I love carbs 🙂 Passover was a long 7 days without bread 😦 hahah but seriously, now that today’s the first day passover is over, I just took the last bite from a huge bowl of pasta I’m eating as my after-school snack 🙂 Annnnddd, I’m about to go get seconds ❤

    • Emily said:

      YUM! Pasta is my faaaavorite. And bread. But, let’s be honest, I rarely meet a carb that I don’t like. (:

      I’m glad you survived Passover!

  7. Ellie said:

    I like that straw idea…maybe I’ll patent that as a new diet craze and make a bunch of money 🙂

  8. I took this test that said my eating is fine .. with how I am, I need to workout more. *sigh* that’s def harder than eating right. hahaha

    • Emily said:

      LOL! I totally understand that. Just find a form of exercise you enjoy- that’s what made the biggest difference for me!

      • I need to do that. I wanna lose weight! haha it’s so hard for me. 😦 I am trying to do more cardio but I injured my foot … *sigh*

  9. I completely agree with you here! Sadly, with the hype over paleo and grain free and low carb, I’ve fallen into the trap of eliminating grains from my diet which is silly because I used to only eat the complex, whole grains like quinoa and wild rice. I still enjoy those things, so why cut them out? I still love me some carbs from fruit and sweet potatoes but I’m working on reincorporating the whole grains that I love!

    • Emily said:

      It’s sooo easy to fall into the trap of these diet trends- I’ve done it too! But I’m really happy to hear that you’re trying to incorporate whole grains back into your diet- your body needs them! And, if you enjoy them, why cut them out? (:

  10. P said:

    Carbs are amazing. Bread is beautiful, haha :P.
    Loving that bread plate with the various dips you have featured at the end!

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