Are Carbs Evil?

I want to address something that I believe many people struggle with (including me) – should you drastically limit carbohydrates?

Many diets, like Keto, Atkins, and the South Beach Diet, drastically limit carbs as a weight-loss tactic. And many people are very successful at dropping weight when they go on these diets, so it can be a very successful way to drop a lot of weight. But, is it a healthy way to drop weight?

Top 3 reasons to not drastically limit your carbohydrate intake.

1. Our bodies burn Fat and Protein at the same rate

Let’s discuss carbohydrates as a macronutrient. In case you don’t know this, carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients – nutrients our bodies need to survive. Our bodies use macros to fuel all the conscious and unconscious stuff that our bodies do everyday, all the time. Fats and protein are the other two macronutrients our bodies can use as fuel. Carbohydrates are just the easiest macronutrient for our bodies to access for fuel and usually the first burned. This is why limiting them seems like a good idea to get our bodies to burn our stored fat instead.

But, do you know that our bodies burn stored fat and protein from our muscles at the same rate when carbohydrates are not available? This is huge to me. I don’t want my body to eat my muscle when I’m working out!

We have to take measures to keep our body from burning protein from our muscles. Having some healthy carbs as well as protein can help this.

2. Laws of Thermodynamics cannot be denied

Newton’s First Law of Thermodynamics is, in very basic terms means, energy in equals energy out. In terms of diet, it means that in order for there to be balance, energy consumed cannot be more than energy used, or it gets stored, mostly as fat. This is referring specifically to calories consumed as our energy in. There are other factors that contribute to energy out besides activity level, but it is definitely a big contributing factor.

OK, how does this relate to carbs? Carb calories are no less evil than fat or protein calories – reducing overall caloric intake and/or increasing activity level is a healthier way to lose weight than trying to eliminate a macronutrient from your diet.

3. Not all carbohydrates are created equal

The quality of the carbs you eat can have a huge impact on its nutritional and weight loss benefits. For me personally, I limit processed gluten and white sugar – those carbs are evil!

Processed carbs are high in calories and low in nutrient value. White sugar is addictive, and we crave it even when we aren’t hungry. These carbs are cheap and everywhere. Worst of all, there are many snacks and foods loaded with processed junk trying to pass themselves off as healthy – just because something is Keto or gluten free doesn’t mean it is healthy.

Choose whole grains in moderation, grass-fed dairy, fresh fruit and veggies, and nuts and seeds for nutrient dense carbohydrates. Eating healthy carbs is good for your body.

Give moderation a try!

I’m not suggesting you eat floury & sugary foods three meals a day again. 😉

Perish the thought!!!!

I’m suggesting you eat nontoxic carbs in moderation as part of a healthy diet. In case you don’t know this about me, my goal is to eat clean. I’m not always successful because I’m human.

Confession time!

I have a confession to make – I am one of those people who lost weight limiting my carbs. But, looking back now, I believe reducing my total calories consumed was a big part of the reason I lost the weight. And, I believe many of those people who lose tons of weight on those diets are drastically reducing their caloric intake.

Way before I tried Keto, I went Paleo because I wanted to eat cleaner, to greatly reduce the toxins in my family’s diets.

Interestingly, I did not lose much weight when I began following a Paleo diet – only about five lbs. This is because I switched from white sugar to coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup. And I switched from white flour to nut flours and starches. You can find quite a few Paleo recipes on our blog posts from this time. They are all very clean and great for kids and anyone who doesn’t need to limit calories.

And then Keto became the thing. I found clean low carb, low calorie sugar alternatives like monk fruit, erythritol and stevia. And I adjusted my baking to lower carb alternatives as well, but found I didn’t like these as much. I lost about 10 lbs over a year or so when I greatly reduced the carb calories in my diet. The thing is, I replaced a lot of them with fat and some protein.

I plateaued, as many of us do. But, I continued eating clean and didn’t really think about making any changes until late last summer when I started following an anti-inflammatory diet. A little way into this I started thinking more about eliminating some of the fat in my diet because I want my body to use the fat I have. This was a hard thing to come by for a person following a Keto diet for years.

The anti-inflammatory food guidelines I was following had me dissecting my nutritional habits and I decided a change was necessary. I consulted with my personal trainer about my macro goals based on my training schedule – I work out 3-5 times a week most weeks. We decided my macro goals are 30% carbs, 30% fat and 40% protein. So now I am limiting my carb intake to 30% of my total calories for the day, and so on for fats and protein. I fall short many days because it is really hard to eat that much protein. I did say it is a goal!

You can lose weight in your 50’s!

One more thing I feel I should mention. I’m a woman in my 50’s and managed to lose weight! I’ve lose a net total of about 13 lbs! In a very healthy way.

Actually I managed to lose 18 lbs, but as with everything, unless I’m being very good, I can’t maintain that weight. I got myself back addicted to sugar since Easter. As I said, I’m human. 😉

I just have to get back to practicing what I’m preaching. That will be next week, after Mother’s Day.

Below is an example of a great breakfast with healthy carbs. I would usually not have grains at lunch if this is breakfast to make up for the carb load. And, with this I have a cup of coffee or tea with two scoops of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen for 20 extra grams of protein.

Maple Cran-Walnut Oatmeal


1/3 plain oatmeal
1 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbs Nature Made apple juice sweetened cranberries
2 Tbs walnut pieces, or nut of choice, sunflower seeds are good too!


Prepare oatmeal according to directions and add the rest when it’s hot. Enjoy!

Before the coffee, this has about 232 calories, 7 gm of fat, 37g of carbs and 6 gm of protein. With half and half and collagen in my coffee, I add 4.5 g of fat and 20 g of protein.

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