“Cut the carbs” – how many times have we heard people, especially the health fanatics and ‘well-meaning’ neighbourhood aunties say this? It seems like Carbs is the new Fat, the way people are hating on it in the food world. While we do agree that carbs haven’t been the most helpful in maintaining a healthy diet, let’s just take a moment to understand the difference between the good carbs and the bad carbs.

1. Stop the Carbo-phobia

That’s right. Not all carbs are bad. Processed carbs like white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc. are the devils you need to fight. Whole carbs with fibre, like whole grains, fibrous vegetables, nuts, legumes, etc. are in fact the heroes who will help you achieve your fitness endeavours. Cut the carbs? More like, cut the crap. Getting to the million-dollar question now – which diet is better, low carb or no carb? Our answer – neither. So, stop being a hater and start being an eater.

2. No Carbs? No-Go

As a weight loss strategy, cutting carbs completely does work pretty well for some people, so a no carbs diet sounds tempting. But there are consequences to this diet. A no carb diet is especially disastrous for those who engage in a lot of physical activity, because carbs are essential to providing energy and maintaining hormones.

To put it briefly, a no carb diet with a lot of physical stress would result in slower metabolism, increase in stress hormones, and reduction of muscle building hormones. You’ll be lousy, spaced out, cranky, and sluggish. Doesn’t sound very comfortable, does it? But you’re probably thinking, “It’ll be worth the weight loss.” Well no. You don’t lose weight at the speed you’d like to in the long run, so all that suffering would be for nothing.

The only way a no carbs diet would work – and there’s a high possibility that it wouldn’t – is if your day to day life doesn’t involve a lot of physical strain. With this diet, you actually shouldn’t work out. But you also shouldn’t eat like 90% of the things on the menu, so you decide which option is better!

3. The Lesser Evil

Coming to the low carb diet. How does it work? You cut down on all the bad carbs, and limit the number of good carbs in your daily diet. While this still doesn’t give you the ideal amount of required nutrition, it does work out well for people who want to see an immediate weight loss result while still getting some bit of energy.

4. The Final Verdict

Conclusion? A well regulated and moderately low carb diet that includes, at the very least, fruits and non-starchy vegetables is the best way to go if you decide to go down this road at all. A low carb diet will help in maintaining your blood sugar levels and the elimination of processed carbs will lower the glycemic index. You will see yourself losing weight faster than you would have with any other diet, and that’s because initially, it’ll mostly be water and glycogen. But in the long run, there is no research to support that you will keep losing weight at the same speed.

So go ahead and follow a low carb diet for your immediate weight loss needs, but don’t get too attached – this one’s only a fair weather friend.

Want to know more about how carbs are actually beneficial? Check out Why Fiber Is Good for Your Gut. and get your dose of fiber from good ‘ol glucose!