Why Do We Need To Eat Carbs?
Last night, I had a conversation with someone who’s starting a new diet. As it often does, the question about avoiding carbs came up right away.
And so did my standard assertion: “Why Do We Need To Eat Carbs?”
I explained that carbohydrates, along with protein and fat, are the three macronutrients forming the basis of any healthy diet. And I base my understanding of why carbs matter so much on Dr T. Colin Campbell’s book The Low-Carb Fraud.
He considers them important enough to recommend a plant-based diet consisting of 80 percent carbohydrates and only 10 percent each of protein and fat!
Why is limiting carbs such a bad idea?
Because many people lump all carbs together. In doing so, they miss out on the complex carbs found in vitamin, mineral- and fiber-rich whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
What they really need to avoid are the diabetes-friendly simple carbs in sugary, nutritionally empty sodas and sweets!
As this video from the Nutritionfacts.org website shows, the low-carb issue caused a bit of controversy at the U.S. government Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee hearing.
It began with an unidentified commenter in support of low-carb, high-fat keto diets taunting the committee:
“You know, if laughter was the best medicine, then the nutritional guidelines are best practiced, because they’re a joke.”
Her remark drew a vigorous challenge from Dr. Pam Popper, PhD. The President of Wellness Forum Health responded:
“So there’s a lot of confusion about diet. Some of it’s been sowed here; people advocating high-fat diets. And I personally take offense to anybody who would come up here and say that the dietary guidelines are a joke.”
But the touché of the day went to bariatric surgeon Garth Davis, MD. The author of Proteinaholic quipped of the low-carb hysteria:
“They don’t know whether to go low-carb; they don’t know whether to go low-fat. They’re petrified of a banana. You could hold up a bank with a piece of bread, people are so scared of carbs.”
So I hope the new dieter takes my advice to heart, learns to tell healthy carbs from unhealthy ones and ignores all the misguided, low-carb propaganda!