Carbohydrates are a necessary macronutrient and act as our body’s main source of energy. They help fuel your brain (the brain accounts for 25% of the body’s carbohydrate use), kidneys, muscles, and the central nervous system. Carbs are naturally occurring sugars, starches, and fiber in food. These starches and sugars are broken down through digestion to form glucose, providing energy and giving power to all body functions. But you already knew that, so let’s get into what a slow-carb diet means.
Carbohydrates are classified into two main categories: simple and complex. When choosing carbohydrates, think about how much fiber they will provide.
Simple carbohydrates have low fiber content, such as processed foods. These carbohydrates are rapidly digested, causing a spike in blood sugar levels, which increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Complex carbohydrates have high fiber content, such as whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Digested slowly to keep us fuller longer, these carbohydrates help reduce health risks and have higher levels of vitamins and minerals.
Disclaimer: if you have an eating disorder, this might be triggering.
The Slow-Carb Diet basics:
Created by Tim Ferriss, The Slow-Carb Diet was created with the intention of helping people lose weight in a short amount of time.
• Follow the diet six days a week, eating very low-carb meals.
• On the seventh day, eat whatever you want.
• Don’t eat any fruit, dairy, “white” carbs, or certain vegetables.
• Because this diet is very restrictive, making caloric intake significantly low, the body will lose weight at a fast (although less sustainable) rate.
• The diet eliminates processed foods, drinks, and low-nutrient foods. This rule encourages having fridges full of clean, nutrient-dense foods.
• The single day of unrestricted eating keeps people from feeling deprived of their favorite foods; however, that can also present as a drawback.
The Slow-Carb Diet is a fad and restrictive diet, making it bound for more cons than pros.
• Those on the diet will be able to lose weight, but the moment they reintroduce the removed food groups, they’ll likely regain the lost weight and possibly gain more.
• Because it is so restrictive, the diet does not allow for variety in food choices. Lack of variety can contribute to food boredom and nutrient and mineral deficiencies.
• Having a single day of unrestricted eating can create a negative relationship with food and train someone to label foods as “good” or “bad.” Instead, create healthy relationships with all foods and allow for occasional indulgences, without guilt.
• Eliminating fruits and certain vegetables could lead to an inadequate intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. A decrease in fiber can lead to irregularity and constipation.
• When we are not consuming enough carbohydrates, our bodies are forced to use fat and protein for energy—neither of which is an efficient energy source.
Carbohydrates are essential to a well-rounded, healthy diet. The key is to choose a beneficial type, pay attention to portions, build a plate with color and variety, have quality sources of protein and fats, and be mindful of processed food intake.
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