Cutting carbs? A dietitian explains 6 reasons you shouldn’t
Low-carb diets aren’t the only key to weight loss and health.
“Carbohydrate” was once just a noun used to refer to a macronutrient, but it has now become “carbs,” the noun to avoid, to blame and to count, laments Registered Dietitian Ashley Koff, founder of The Better Nutrition Program.
The prevailing sentiment that carbs are the enemy grew as the number of “hyper processed, refined and fortified” foods grew, Koff tells CNET. Those kinds of foods — sugary cereals, white bread, candy and the like — contain empty calories, or calories void of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Not all carbs are bad, though: “Foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, may be high in carbs and calories sometimes, but they are not empty,” Koff says. “They deliver fiber, protein, B vitamins and other nutrients.”
People often turn to low-carb or keto diets as a quick way to lose weight — keto diets are known to induce rapid weight loss in the first few weeks, but it’s not always sustainable. For one thing, everyone is different and won’t see the same results on a low-carb diet, Koff explains, and secondly, it’s hard to keep up with a carb-free diet long-term.
Koff recommends that anyone considering carb reduction or elimination should work with a qualified professional and discuss short- and long-term benefits. If you wonder if your current carb intake is too high, Koff recommends keeping a food journal and sharing it with your doctor.