Editorial: Moderate of carbohydrates is the key for health and weight loss


Reducing carbohydrates intake is essential for weight loss.

Products rich of complex carbohydrates.

Products rich in complex carbohydrates.

Low-carb diets are commonplace in our society.  You will be hard pressed to find a single individual that has not tried on the form of this dietary spectrum or another.  Many of these diets replace carbohydrates with proteins and/or fats.  The low carb craze is nothing new.  The craze, as I like to call it, has been around for well over a century if not two.  I have tried it and will admit that it does work and can work fast, but it is likely not healthy.

I am not going to advocate for low carbohydrate diets.  In this article, I am going to advocate for moderation. Eating carbohydrates in moderation just makes sense in a common sense perspective.  Our bodies have nutritional needs.  Although, we function better and more efficiently with carbohydrates as the main energy source, and parts of our body such as our brains can only use carbs for energy, but there are not essential carbohydrates, and you can make them readily from proteins.  

There are essential fat and protein components called fatty acids and amino acids that our bodies must acquire from our diets.  Our bodies can’t make these essential items so if we do not eat them, we will not have them, and our bodies will not function in a healthy, efficient manner.  

Weight loss will occur if you reduce your calorie intake on any diet.  Weight loss must be maintained for it to have lasting health benefits and the problem with low carbohydrate diets is that they are not maintainable over the longer term.  You can keep them up for short bursts, but as we all know you will have to diet over and over again unless you learn healthy lifestyles and maintain the weight loss.  

As indicated in another article yesterday on the research of carbohydrate intake and the tie to mortality, a moderate amount of carbs are tied to lower mortality. The findings are from observational studies and indicate a link.  It should not be assumed to be a cause and effect.

The bottom line: Extreme diets such as high protein or keto diets are just too extreme to maintain over a lifetime even though you might get all of the essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins.  Moderate carbohydrate intake is optimal for health and longevity through reduced mortality. It just makes sense form a common sense perspective and the fact is that moderation is easier to lean and maintain.  I suggest a carbohydrate intake of about 50% with reduced amounts of processed sources and increased plant-based foods.  

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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