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What are carbs?

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default What are carbs?

dumb question, I could google this but the information is much better on this site.

What do carbs do? and is it better to have as little carbs as possible?
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:27 AM   #2
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'Carbs' is short for carbohydrates - carbohydrates are "any of various neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (as sugars, starches, and celluloses) most of which are formed by green plants and which constitute a major class of animal foods." Whew! Foods high in carbohydrates tend to be things like pasta, bread, rice, etc. though fruits and vegetables - bananas, potatoes, mangoes, and dates spring to mind - can also be pretty high carb.

Conventional wisdom tends to suggest eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in a low-fat, moderate-to-high carb diet, and there's a whole bunch of variation on either side of that. Some people claim great success with SUPER high carb diets (like fruit-based raw veganism) and some people have had more success with things like very low carb paleo - I've heard of some people who even swear by a zero carb diet, though I haven't met any personally and it's not something I'm willing to try.

As far as I know, pretty much everybody recommends staying away from white, highly-processed carbohydrates (white rice, white bread, white sugar, etc.) but beyond that you're going to have to do some reading, play with macronutrient ratios, and try to find what works for you!
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:27 AM   #3
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Low carb diets definitely allow for weight loss to happen much quicker than a lot of other plans. However carbs are essential as they store your bodies energy. If you are planning on doing a lot of cardio make sure you still eat a reasonable amount of carbs.

Also a normal diet or recommended one for healthy people is usually composed of 50-65% carbs which shows how important they are.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:39 AM   #4
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Carrots are carbs. So are Twinkies. I've been fighting with DH for months now since his doctor told him to stay away from carbs, trying to convince him the doc didn't mean cauliflower. I think most successful approaches to weight loss, one way or another, encourage us to replace bad carbs with good ones. That will generally result in fewer carbs, since you'd have to eat a lot of carrots to equal the carbs in two Twinkies.
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