Why are carbs bad for me?

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Answered by: Kayleigh, An Expert in the Diet and Health Category
Frankly, being a person who has (quite often) struggled with maintaining an “ideal weight,” I found this a little weird. I know for a fact you have struggled with this at least once, too. How? You don’t know what’s really the truth! Check this out:

Site A: my weight should go no lower than 127 and no higher than 159 — 143 is healthy.

Site B: my weight should go no lower than 117 and no higher than 157. No weight is said “ideal.”

Site C: my weight should be no lower than 138 and no higher than 151. Apparently, I’m underweight here.

But trust me when I say I feel like I could lose the muffin top — even at my present “ideal” weight.

Why do I mention this? Fear of weight, gaining or losing too much of it, directly coincides with my fear of fats. Think about it. When you tell someone you are overweight, or think you could lose a few pounds, it’s never said that way. Instead, it’s “I’m fat, I have to lose this chub, this jiggly fat!” Yet, the fats we consume are not the fats that surface underneath our skin. Most surface fats are fat cells that have expanded to make room for additional sugars in the body that are stored for later use (running a marathon, or from a mammoth for example).

"Why are carbs bad for me?"

Basically, if you burn 1800 calories in a day, and you consume 1900 calories of sugars and carbohydrates, 100 calories of those sugars get stored in fat cells, swelling them over time. Cellulite? That’s what the swelling looks like. You can imagine those extra 20 calories from a pump of syrup at Starbucks add up quickly. If you make this trip every day, in a year you will gain over two pounds (365 x 20 = 7300 calories, 3500 calories being a pound).

Carbohydrates are not the evil that must be avoided. They are a new food that we haven’t entirely adapted to yet in human evolution. Stephan Guyenet, Biochem graduate (from UVA, my old locale) and Neurobiology Ph.D. (from my current locale, UW), wrote an intriguing article about his argument on "How equipped are we, on a cellular level, to consume grain?"

Because this topic will be discussed in its own post later on, I will end this point with Guyenet’s statement on wheat: “The fact that up to 1% of people of European descent may have celiac disease attests to the fact that 7,000 years have not been enough time to fully adapt to wheat[…]nearly half of genetic Europeans carry genes that are associated with celiac[…]we haven’t been weeded out thoroughly enough to tolerate wheat, the oldest grain!”

Grains inhibit absorption and disrupt digestion with phytates, which also prevent you from using any of the additional minerals or vitamins from other foods.

Carbohydrates can cause inflammation, digestive upset (leading to weight gain or loss), and a whole slew of other symptoms we're only beginning to discover. Fats provide you with the correct environment to absorb fat-soluble vitamins: D, E, A, K, and your essential fatty acids. Those nutrients we’re finding mass deficiencies in: how convenient.

Fats also lubricate the body: literally. Your skin, nails, and hair will have the oils whizzing through your bloodstream to soften and strengthen your collagen cells, bones, and eyes. Imagine never having dry eyes, applying lip balm, or having to use a heavy conditioner. Consume enough healthy fats, and you will get there.

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