Which is Better (and When): LOW-CARB versus HIGH-CARB

Atkins and others have shown that low-carb diets can provide a wide range of benefits such as promoting weight loss and reducing bad cholesterol. The logical conclusion is then to avoid any kind of high-carb diet … but before jumping to conclusions you should know all of the facts!

Loading up with carbohydrates can improve your endurance during a workout, in sports and in any other physical activity … and the physical activity is good for you! In addition, there are lots of high-carb foods (such as potatoes, apples and carrots) that provide healthy nutrients.

This creates a dilemma … do you want to lose weight and reduce the risk of heart disease at the cost of reducing energy and stamina and other health benefits?

Here is a summary of the relevant facts supported by recently published studies:

Low-carb diets have numerous benefits:

  1. Studies show that they cause fast weight loss and major improvements in health markers.

  2. The effects on metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes are particularly striking.

It is true that refined carbs, including added sugars and refined grains, can contribute to weight gain and metabolic disease. But the same is NOT true for whole, single ingredient carbohydrate sources.

The basic problem is that proponents of low-carb diets have incorrectly drawn the conclusion that ALL high-carbohydrate foods are inherently bad for you!

There have been numerous populations around the world that were in excellent health eating a high-carbohydrate diet based on real foods.

When metabolic problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes have already taken place, low-carb diets work. There is no doubt about it. But that doesn’t mean that carbs themselves caused these health problems.

Even though high-carb foods like potatoes, apples and carrots are off-limits on a very low-carb diet, most people will benefit and maintain better health by supplementing their low-carb diet with some unprocessed high-carbohydrate foods.

As with most things in nutrition, this depends entirely on the individual. A low carb diet is great for some people, but a high carb diet works just fine for others.

Bottom Line: Low-carb diets are effective. However, this does not mean that whole food carbohydrates are inherently fattening or harmful.

Refer to the original article by Kris Gunnars for a full list of the relevant publications and studies.

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Source: Kris Gunnars

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