Carbohydrates have long been vilified as the type of foods to avoid because they are likely to cause weight gain. While this is true if they are eaten as part of an unbalanced diet, carbs in and of themselves can be very healthy. In fact, there are several reasons you should give these forgotten foods a chance as part of your healthy diet.
One of the main reasons you should not fully avoid carbs is the fact that they can create a temporary boost in your mood. Research has shown that carbs seem to promote serotonin production in the brain; this is a mood booster for the body. So grab a small bowl of pasta and allow the comfort food to truly be a comfort. Another reason that carbs should be included in the diet is that they can actually prevent weight gain and promote weight loss when eaten correctly. Most of us overindulge in carbs that are heavy, but eating a moderate amount with high fiber content can actually promote weight loss. So grab that high fiber cereal, add some fruit and enjoy the results. Additionally, trading refined grains for whole grains can reduce body fat, especially in the stomach area, offering a smaller waistline. A third health reason is that carbs can be good for the heart. A mentioned before, many carbs are high in fiber which can help with cholesterol levels. Whole grain carbs can be a heart healthy option in moderation.
Some studies have shown that carbs will help keep your memory sharp. In studies with overweight women who were first told to go low carb and then eliminate carbs completely, memory tests got worse with no carbs. A low calorie diet is better for both your body and your memory overall. As we have all been told, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you choose a slow release carb breakfast you will stay full longer and reduce snacking prior to lunch. This keeps blood sugar level and allows you to feel full longer.
So while carbs have long been vilified as the fat makers of the body, it is actually our choice and the amount of carbs that can be problematic. So stop fearing carbs and start using them to your advantage to help memory, weight loss, and even mood. Happy carbo-loading!