Over the last few years there has been a surge of low-carbohydrate diets that promise fast and healthy weight loss for all. Unfortunately, the trend to avoid carbohydrates - or carbs - is not healthy at all. Without them, we cannot make serotonin in our brain. Serotonin plays a huge part in our moods and in feeling good in general. Without few or no carbohydrates in our diet, we cannot produce necessary serotonin. Low levels of serotonin can lead to clinical depression.
Good Carbs Vs. Bad Carbs
The bottom line is that a balanced diet needs carbohydrates to be balanced. However, not all carbs are created equally. One way to describe the difference between types of carbohydrates is fast and slow carbs. Fast carbs are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and examples include sugary drinks and refined sugars. I like to call these the bad carbs, and aim to avoid them whenever I can. They raise blood sugar levels quickly, and then dissipate equally quickly, causing an energy crash. Other examples of fast carbs include glucose-fructose syrups and other simple sugars.
Slow carbs are different. They are released into the body more slowly, and can help you feel full for longer. These carbs are generally richer in fiber also. Fiber is an integral part of healthy eating, helping you to feel full for longer and contributing to bowel health. Fiber also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and cholesterol.
Slow carbs also tend to contain other vital nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. Examples of slow carbs are foods that are made with whole grains, rather than refined grains. Wholegrain flour and muesli are great examples of whole grain foods that are carbohydrates, yet they offer other benefits to our diet. These are the good carbs.
Plan A Healthy, Balanced Diet
When planning a sensible diet, the exclusion of anything is generally a bad idea. However, there are some things that should be avoided, and fast carbs are one example of an ingredient in our diet that should be consumed only in small amounts. Read the labels on packages, and read the ingredients. By consuming some slow carbs, we can ensure that our intake is balanced and full of vitamins, nutrients and fiber. Not only do they balance our diet, they also help us to feel full for longer. Keep it balanced and remain aware of what you are eating.
Leon Vukov is a bloger and webmaster who believes that natural weight loss pills along with healthy eating and exercises can benefit your overall health.