Carbs Are NOT the Enemy: Quality vs. Quantity

Various fruits and vegetables cut in half with Dr. T logo

If I shout one thing from the rooftops of the Nutrition Industry Tower it would be “CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY”. I truly hate that popular media, ignorant health and fitness bloggers, big food, franchise restaurants, and marketing have pinned the international overweight and chronic disease crisis on carbohydrates as a whole. Let me say this as clearly as I can…Sweet Potatoes did not cause the Obesity Epidemic. Oatmeal did make heart disease the leading cause of death in the U.S.. Eating fruit on a daily basis is not to blame for the exponential growth in childhood Type 2 Diabetes. All of these foods…root vegetables, whole grain cereals, and fruit are…GUESS WHAT? Carbs. These examples vary in the complexity of their make-up, the source of the carbohydrate, the amount of dietary fiber they provide the body, and the micro nutrients (vitamins/minerals) they supply. However, they are ALL a source of the amazing macro nutrient category called, Carbohydrates.

So, why are people so confused about carbohydrates and how they relate to weight gain? The media, and marketing tries to simplify any message in order to educate the masses. We cannot get too wordy, too in depth, explain too much because the message has to be catchy, it has to sell, and it has to be digestible to all levels of education. For this reason, it is just easier to say…”Eat Less Carbs” than to actually educate people about they TYPES, AMOUNTS and PURPOSE of carbohydrates as part of a well-balanced, moderate nutritional plan. So, I am going to attempt to simplify this information as much as possible while keeping the integrity of the topic…in other words, giving you just enough information that you gag but don’t quite choke on it.

Carbohydrate is a multidimensional noun. It is not just “one thing”, and this is where the industry does it’s consumers a disservice. Every week, new clients say, “Wait, I thought carbs made you fat?” Simply FALSE.

Carbs can be divided into Two Main Categories. People use differing terms but I like SLOW and QUICK burning because it is accurate, and descriptive. You might also hear them called Complex or Simple. Basically this refers to how quickly your body can break them down, transport them to the working cells (muscle, liver, brain, kidneys) and provide Fuel for mental and physical performance. Just as it sounds, SLOW burning carbs break down more gradually, they take longer for the body to burn through, and they provide more lasting, evenly distributed energy. Alternatively, QUICK carbs

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