It has been a while but I´m finally back (back again), so let us continue with the second part of carbohydrates. I will make it short since most of the important things were already said in the first part (click here). As I mentioned in my last post, carbohydrates have been getting a bad ¨rap¨, and a lot of people blame them for their weight gain. So, they are the first macronutrient ¨punished¨ when someone wants to lose weight. But carbohydrates, if eaten properly, is an essential macronutrient, and one that should definitely not be completely taken out of your diet.
The thing is, most people completely misunderstand what carbohydrates are. When they think carbohydrates, they think sugar, pasta, or processed foods, but carbohydrates are much more than that. Carbohydrates are found in lettuce, broccoli, spinach, onions and many other healthy foods. So the important thing is that we should try to stay away from refined and highly processed carbohydrates, which can cause trigger cravings, and try to eat whole, natural carbohydrates.
Now, if you are not that active, I would recommend to try to keep your carb intake low. But if you exercise regularly and maintain a low carb diet you could actually be doing more harm than good. As it has been shown that exercising regularly and restricting your carb intake drastically can lead to (1-6):
- Decreased thyroid output
- Increased cortisol output
- Decreased testosterone
- Impaired mood and cognitive function
- Muscle catabolism
In other words, it leads to a SLOWER METABOLISM and this is the last thing someone wants when losing weight.
And again I will finish by saying that the most important factor when someone is on a diet is the percentage of proteins they eat. So it really doesn´t matter if you go on a low fat diet or a low carb diet, both of them will be more or less effective as long as you keep your protein intake high (7-9). Remember that!
Hope you enjoyed it.
- E Danforth, Jr, et al. Dietary-induced alterations in thyroid hormone metabolism during overnutrition. J Clin Invest. 1979 November; 64(5): 1336–1347.
- Spaulding SW, et al. Effect of caloric restriction and dietary composition of serum T3 and reverse T3 in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1976 Jan;42(1):197-200.
- Serog P, et al. Effects of slimming and composition of diets on V02 and thyroid hormones in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 1982;35(1):24-35.
- Anderson KE, et al. Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life Sci. 1987 May 4;40(18):1761-8.
- Tsai L, et al. Basal concentrations of anabolic and catabolic hormones in relation to endurance exercise after short-term changes in diet. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1993;66(4):304-8.
- Lane AR, Duke JW, Hackney AC. Influence of dietary carbohydrate intake on the free testosterone: cortisol ratio responses to short-term intensive exercise training. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Apr;108(6):1125-31.
- Hu T, Mills K, Demanelis K, Eloustaz M, Yancy W, Kelly N T, He J, Bazzano L. Effects of Low carbohydrated diets versys Low-Fat Diets on Metabolic Risk Factors: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 October 1; 176: S44-S54
- Loria-Kohen V, Gomez-Candela C, Fernández-Fernández C, Pérez-Torres A, Garcia-Puig J, Bermejo LM. Evaluation of uselfulness of a low calorie diet with or without bread in the treatment of overweight /obesity. Clin Nutr.2012 Aug;31 (4): 455-61.
- Soenen S, Bonomi AG, Lemmens SG, Scholte J, Thisjssen MA, van Berkum F, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Relatively high-protein or ¨low-carb¨energy-restricted diets for body weight loss and body weight maintenance. Physiol Behav 2012 Oct 10;107(3):374-80.