June 25th, 2018 • 9 min read
Last Updated: August 12th, 2018
Inspiration of the article:
Low carb diets have been a popular trend. Other popular diets include the Dukan diet, the Ketogenic diet, the Atkin's Diet, the South Beach Diet, and the Paleo diet. However if you haven't heard of the The Smoothie Diet they provide tons of health and weight loss results as backed by certified health coach Drew.
Many claim the diets’ weight loss benefits, but several new studies reveal that limiting your carb intake may do a lot more than just slim your waistline---we're talking about life saving benefits.
People are commonly including too many carbs into their meals. If you let yourself overly consume these high carb foods you might suggest limiting them---they can be a life-saver. Results from a study revealed that people who ate a lot of carbs (more than 60 percent of their daily calorie intake)
In one study, people who ate a lot of carbs (more than 60 percent of their daily calorie intake) had a nearly 30 percent greater risk of dying during a seven-plus year period than people eating a low-carb diet. What?!
In their Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, they followed people aged 35 to 70 from 18 countries enrolled between Jan 1, 2003 to March 13, 2013. Participants answered questions about the foods they ate using a standard questionnaire, and researchers categorized them into groups based on their intake of carbs, fats, and protein.
During the study period, 5,796 participants died and 4,784 had heart attacks or strokes. Researchers took a look at their diets and found that those who consumed the greatest amount of carbs were more likely to die, when compared with their counterparts who consumed the least. Fat, however, seemed protective. People who ate high-fat diets (about 35 percent of daily energy intake) had a 23 percent lower risk of mortality, and an 18 percent lower risk of stroke compared to low intake group (11 percent energy).
Fats were all once considered bad and unhealthy. Therefore, it used to be recommended to just avoid them. Eventually, research actually revealed that some fats like Omega-3's are super healthy, while trans fats were the ones revealed that should've been one to avoid. Judging by how carbs are making their way downwards into the dieting discussions, it seems like carbs will make their way to join trans fats to the darker side of health diets. While Dr. Dehghan and colleagues did not parse out the type of carbs that study participants ate, we already know that some carbs (think whole foods including vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes, and whole grains) are healthy and some (think refined carbs such as sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, and white rice) are not, and should be avoided or at least limited.
A growing trend is juicing. While it provides its health benefits, fruit juices are an example of simple carbs to be avoided, says Sharon Zarabi RD, CDN, CPT , Program Director of Bariatric Surgery and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist/Fitness Trainer at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Blending is different, as it uses the whole fruit including the fiber content, but fruit juice has no fiber.” It’s the fiber that separates good carbs from killer carbs. “Simple sugars like those in juice and some smoothies spike blood sugar, and what goes high usually goes low and will leave you feeling hungry in the short term as opposed to when you consume fiber-rich foods and drinks,” she says. Skip the juice and drink water or another low-calorie unsweetened beverage.
“Blending is different, as it uses the whole fruit including the fiber content, but fruit juice has no fiber.” It’s the fiber that separates good carbs from killer carbs. “Simple sugars like those in juice and some smoothies spike blood sugar, and what goes high usually goes low and will leave you feeling hungry in the short term as opposed to when you consume fiber-rich foods and drinks,” she says. Skip the juice and drink water or another low-calorie unsweetened beverage.
A higher carb intake may increase dangerous blood fats known as triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol, explains study author Mashid Dehghan, PhD, an Investigator in the Nutrition Epidemiology program at the Population Health Research Institute and Senior Research Associate in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. “It may also increase apoB/apoA ratios,” she says, and “ApoB/ApoA ratio has shown to be strong predictor of heart disease.”
Fat was once considered diet saboteur No. 1, but carbs—especially white, processed, simple ones—now holds this title. In fact, two other studies published in the journal Cell Metabolism also raise hopes that low-carb diets, if followed over time, improve the odds of living longer and can also boost memory. (Although these studies were in mice, they do add to validity in evidence).
Before you start removing every single carb related food item in your diet plan for a low-carb diet, remember Dr. Deghan’s caveat: “Our study does not support a very low carbohydrate intake (e.g. below 50 percent of caloric intake), and moderate intakes (e.g. 50-55 percent of caloric intake) are likely to be more appropriate than either very high or very low carbohydrate intakes,” she says. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 percent to 65 percent of your total daily calories. This means that between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbs, assuming you eat a 2,000 calories a day.
Drink this tasty red tea (Red Tea Detox Recipe) and in only 14 days from now, you'll have kick-started your natural fat-burning system into overdrive, turning your body into a calorie burning machine. The unique combination of special ingredients in this tea literally unlocks your fat cells to help remove built-up toxins and reset your body's metabolism - and these are the two factors that are making it impossible for you to lose weight. Read more
Simple carbs such as muffins, doughnuts, and cookies lack crucial minerals and vitamins. They also promote higher levels of blood sugar quickly and then cause an energy low, unlike complex carbs that are made up of starch and fiber and release gradually to provide a steady source of energy. “Never say never as that sets you up to feel deprived and then binge,” Greene says. “These foods are fine as an occasional treat in an otherwise healthy and balanced diet. They should not be staples, however.”
Also high on the list of dangerous carbs are sweetened sodas, Zarabi says. A can of Coke has 39 grams of carbs, not to mention at least 150 empty calories. Flavored lattes are also on the hit list as they rank high in blood-sugar spiking carbs, she says. And these beverages, soda especially, have been linked to skyrocketing rates of obesity.
“Evidence is growing that overconsumption of simple sugars from added sugars—white sugar, agave, maple syrup, etc.—is representative of a more calorie-rich eating plan and likely an eating plan that fails to provide satiety at a lower calorie level, leading to overconsumption,” says Connie Diekman M.Ed., RD, LD, FADA, Director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis past president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
And we know that limiting carbs helps with weight loss. Low-carb diets lead to weight loss by inducing something called ketosis. Put another way: If you reign in the carbs, your body turns to fat for fuel and you shred weight. (When stored fat gets broken down, it morphs into molecules called ketones, thus ketosis.)
These foods are examples of simple carbohydrates that give carbs a bad name, Zarabi says. “All carbs are not created equal.” White processed carbs are low in fiber and tend to spike blood sugar. Her advice: “Read food labels and make sure the fiber content is greater than 3 grams per serving.”
Brown rice, wild rice, and quinoa are healthier alternatives to white rice. Whole grain pastas and breads are also smart substitutions. Wraps—especially whole wheat or veggie-flavored ones—may seem like a heathier choice than a sandwich on a roll, but the darker colors may be food coloring rather than whole grains or veggies. “Instead, use collard greens or kale leaves as a wrap or make a salad,” Zarabi suggests.
Plain bagels are high carb foods too, says Boston-based nutritionist Dana Greene, RD. And the bigger the bagel, the worse the offense, she says. Depending on the size, a bagel can have close to 500 calories and 50 grams of carbohydrates.
Speaking of breakfast, even some of the healthier-sounding cereals in the aisle may be high carb foods loaded with simple sugars and low in nutritional value, Zarabi says. Check the fiber content and make sure it is above 3 grams per serving, and choose single ingredient cereals for breakfast such as oatmeal when and where you can.
Anything that melts in your mouth is a source of empty calories, as there is no substance left to keep your stomach full and sated. So if you’re craving snack foods, choose healthy snacks you won’t feel guilty about eating. “Carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, and grains should be a part of a healthful eating plan in that they provide us with the energy we need, the fiber we need, and overall nutrition,” Diekman says. “An eating plan built around whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is more nutrient rich, provides a greater feeling of fullness, and has been found to promote health.” Instead of chips, try roasted chickpeas or edamame to get the crunch you crave without the carbs, like The Good Bean Sea Salt Flavor Crispy Crunchy Chickpeas or Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame.
Sure, they sound healthy and are easy to eat on the go, but many snack or granola bars are high in sugar and simple carbs. (Granola is actually on the list of foods we should steer clear of when we want to lose weight). Instead, “look for bars that are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber with fewer than eight grams of sugar and no added sugars,” Greene says. It isn’t always easy to detect added sugar but come 2018, the FDA’s new “added sugar” category will appear on nutrition labels and make this task simpler. “The fewer the ingredients the better and they should always come from whole foods.” Some healthy choices include KIND Pressed Mango Apple Chia Bars, any of the Rx bars or all Health Warrior Chia bars.
Become a subscriber today to start receiving newsletters of the latest, best trending health content delivered straight to your inbox. (You only need to enter your email)
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by advertising linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.