Is it Healthy to Reduce Carbohydrate Intake?

Is it Healthy to Reduce Carbohydrate Intake?
by Jackie Edwards

Eating a balanced and nutritional diet is key when it comes to ensuring long-term health and well-being. People are more aware now than ever about the ways in which the food we eat effects our health. But there is often controversy around which foods are either good or bad for us. For example, there has been a lot of debate around wether carbohydrates are good or bad for you and if people should be cutting down on them. This article will look at the role that carbohydrates play in our diet and whether or not we should think about reducing our carbohydrate intake.

Diets that restrict carbohydrates

The fact that there are a wide range of carbohydrate restrictive diets out there appears to suggest that reducing your carbohydrate intake is good for health. When it comes to dieting, the decision for many people nowadays seems to be between the keto vs. Atkins diet, which are two of the most popular low carb diets. This dietary approach has been linked to weights loss, improved heart health and blood sugar control, and increased energy. However, the fact remains that carbohydrates provide us with some key vitamins and nutrients that are needed for a balanced and healthy diet.

Eating the right carbs

The key when it comes to carb intake is ensuring that you opt for the right ones. Simple carbohydrates with a high glycaemic index are considered as unhealthy carbs. Carbohydrates that fall into this category include foods like cakes, biscuits, pastries and white starchy foods. All of which have little to no nutritional value. Theses foods are broken down quickly by the body, resulting in increased appetite and a spike in blood sugar.

Unhealthy carbs have been linked to chronic disease

Research shows that consuming these foods regularly can lead to weight gain, as well as chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even Alzheimer’s. Consuming high quantities of these foods has also been linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. As such, these foods should be eaten in moderation.

Opt for complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates on the other hand, which have a low glycaemic index, provide us with a range of essential vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, fibre, folate, iodine, iron and a range of vitamins including B vitamins, all of which are needed to maintain overall health. The majority of your carbohydrate intake should therefore come from healthy carbohydrates such as wholegrain foods, porridge oats, some dairy and most fruits and vegetables.

Should we reduce our carbohydrate intake?

As has been demonstrated, eating carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. However, the key is to ensure that the majority of your carbohydrate intake comes from complex carbohydrate sources. This way, along with a moderate intake of the two other macronutrients that form the foundation of our diet; protein and fat, we can help ensure that we are eating a balanced and healthy diet, which will help prevent obesity as well as reduce the risk of chronic disease.

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