Good Carbs, Bad Carbs: Using Fiber to Drive Weight Loss
Most people are familiar with the popular diet plans which millions follow in a desperate attempt to lose weight and improve health. Low carb diets have garnished much attention over the past 40 years as scores of people have quickly dropped weight following the program made popular by Dr. Robert Atkins. The Atkins plan has not been without controversy due to the inclusion of processed meats, high fat dairy and the initial exclusion of fresh vegetables.
Fad Carb Diets Don’t Work Long Term
While initial results of people following the Atkins program are impressive, most are unable to attain or maintain their target weight. For many, sustainable and healthy weight loss is only possible by following a high fiber diet which encourages plenty of leafy greens, proper balance of healthy fats and a high fiber intake which requires more energy for the body to break down.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition distinguishes carbohydrates based on their glycemic index, a measure of how quickly they convert to glucose in the blood. Glucose is released slowly in carbs which are high in fiber, blunting the typical blood sugar spike. These foods are associated with a lowered risk from many metabolic disorders, and may help prevent diabetes from progressing to an advanced form of the disease.
All Carbs Are Not Created Equal
Raw vegetables and cake both contain carbohydrates, yet most people would identify the dessert as an unhealthy carb choice. The key difference is in the way they release glucose to the bloodstream. The sugars in vegetables are closely bound with fiber, and are difficult for the body to break down quickly, while the cake immediately turns to sugar beginning in the mouth. Carbohydrates are essential to good health, but making the proper choices will lead to reduced disease risk and natural weight loss.