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General Diet Plans and Questions General diet questions, support for various diet plans other than those listed below.

are carbs REALLY that bad?

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Old 04-23-2004, 01:26 AM   #1
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Question are carbs REALLY that bad?

So EVERYONE seems to be watching their carbs. Everywhere i go, subway, arbies, all resaurants, etc all have carb free stuff. I for one...AM IN LOVE with carbs, and doing without them isnt something I see myself sticking with. So now what do I do? Is anyone else having problems with "counting carbs" Should I be watching them? Any tips for AT LEAST cutting back???
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Old 04-23-2004, 04:49 AM   #2
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*raises hand* i have a problem with reducing carbs because i love pasta too much to give it up. i tried a low carb approach and it was the worst thing i ever did to my body. your mileage may vary.

there is a book out called "life without bread" that states that the ideal number of carbs a person should have everyday for optimal health is 72. the book is full of science and physiology and spends only one chapter going over the actual reduction of carbs but it is still a very informative book. this sounds better than going down to 20 grams or 30 grams a day.

personally, i have found that i can still lose weight while eating carbs. the way i figure, it's hard enough cutting calories and losing weight; why should i have to deprive something that i love like pasta? instead of eating it nearly everyday, i eat it once a week now.

samantha, not a fan of low-carb diets
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Old 04-23-2004, 05:05 AM   #3
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I don't think they are a bad thing but I find them VERY addictive. I wonder how many people will come on here who will say, I am in LOVE with carbs, I cannot live without them, etc. They have an addicting quality and that is where I don't think they are healthy. While I love pasta, and rice and all that good stuff, unless I am a hardcore athlete, there is no need to eat carbs for every meal, every day for that matter. I am not cutting carbs down to lower levels but I am watching them because I know even if I count calories, if I get most of my caloric intake from carbs, i don't lose weight, that is just the way my body works. And Sexy bookworm is right, everyone is different in that respect. I don't think they are as evil as some make them out to be. I choose whole wheat and whole grain whenever I can, I DO think the white stuff is evil, haha. I hope my rambling helped, whatever works for you. Good luck!!
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Old 04-23-2004, 05:43 AM   #4
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I am not a big fan of carb cutting as I don't think people do it properly, but that is my opinion. I eat carbs and have lost over 100 lbs so for me it is not a problem. I do think some people do not process carbs as well as others and some crave them more than others. Just like anything you "crave" too much (for me it was regular soft drinks), you may have to cut out or cut back on it.

I would suggest going slow and cutting back and/or changing how you eat carbs if you like. Change to whole wheat bread products instead of white. I did this just recently since my hubby doesn't eat much bread except for an english muffin in the morning for breakfast. Cut out regular sugar and use substitutes. I use Splenda a lot. Try brown rice instead of regular and whole wheat pastas. This I haven't done, but like I said, I don't seem to have a problem with them. Journal everything you eat for a week and see where you seem to "carb" load and drop some of it out of your diet if you feel you are taking in too much.

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Old 04-23-2004, 07:55 AM   #5
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No - Carbs are GOOD for you! I don't see anyone having success w/ giving them up completely on a long term basis. I eat a carb 6 times a day, at each small meal. The catch? They must be unrefined - oatmeal, brown rice, potato, sweet potato, fruit, whole wheat. Balanced w/ a protein, carbs give you energy and keep you going.
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Old 04-23-2004, 01:45 PM   #6
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There are definitely good and bad carbs and we all react differently. I am hypothyroid and insulin resistent and therefor must limits carbs - 4 servings per day or starches or fruit. I feel much better and maintain my weight better on this. You have to work out what is right for you.

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Old 04-23-2004, 08:47 PM   #7
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Since you ask for opinions, here's mine: Carbs are the preferred food of the brain and our bodies preferred energy source when exercising (Atkins notwithstanding, you really don't want to be burning ketones for energy in place of burning carbohydrates ... IMO, sorry and not meaning to offend) and schlepping around the world ... they are one of the major macronutrients and they are NOT evil! But it's best to eat mostly good quality complex carbs (whole grains, vegetables, etc.) rather than simple sugar (which I, unfortunately, love) or grains that have been processed so much the fiber and vitamins are gone (white flour stuff).

I also have a problem with the concept of "net impact carbs" that the marketing people have recently gotten hold of. All this means is that there are a certain number of carbohydrate calories in a product and they are subtracting out the calories for the fiber because they are saying it doesn't impact blood sugar ... IMO (again, just my personal opinion and no offense to anyone), there's not much real science to back this up ... fiber may or may not be contributing carb calories to the body ... I just don't know and I doubt if the food marketers do either ... they're just jumping on the Atkins bandwagon.

On the other hand, a number of diabetics I know (one of them a nurse) say that Atkins is a good eating style for them, so who knows ...

I like the Body For Life (and Zone) approach of balancing good quality carbs and protein and adding vege, good oil, etc. ... sometimes I just want a donut, though! I'm really trying to get added sugar out of my life!

But again, I apologize if offending, just responding and giving my own opinion and don't mean to bash anyone's preferred diet ... I agree with QuilterinVa, we have to work out what's best for ourselves.
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Old 04-23-2004, 10:14 PM   #8
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I eat about 50% carbs, 25% protein, 25% fat. Carbs include pasta, whole grain bread, brown rice, potatoes, low-sugar cereals like All-Bran or Uncle Sam's. I eat little sucrose anymore, no cookies, pies, candy, cakes, pastries, sodas-- maybe one tablespoon of low-sugar jam on a peanut butter sandwich. I do drink beer or wine about once a week or less, and I seldom drink juices, except for V-8.

I also drink skim milk, eat low-fat or fat-free cheeses, cottage cheese, yoghurt, and also eat lots of fruits and veggies every day. For protein: eggs, lean beef, chicken, fish, lean pork, lamb, organ meats, beans, nuts, and peanut butter. One thing that really seems to help is having 4 - 6 small meals. Also some protein and carb at every meal, even a snack-- like a piece of string cheese and an apple.

So I guess this WOE is more like the low-G.I. approach than anything else. I just fell into it naturally and gradually, as a consequence of journaling my food. I think it has helped my hypoglycemia, and it may be helping with my migraines-- if I don't have one for another month, I'd say that's a winner.

BTW I'm currently aiming for 1600 calories a day or more, as I'm doing quite a bit of exercise. Overall, though, I enjoy this WOE, I don't feel terribly deprived, and it works for me. Good luck with your plans, everyone.
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Last edited by SeekInnerThinChick : 04-23-2004 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 04-24-2004, 12:06 AM   #9
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Now i say you are not doing bad eating them. as we each find a plan and go for it. if it does not make you gain by eating them then i would not go on the carb. i think we need some of all food groups. this is my feelings. i have just decided so tired of eating this and not that. so i am counting calories and ww points. i go back and forth so not boring. but i eat what i want and allow for. watch portions, exercise and drink water. if i want something special i just do extra exercise or allow for. so i hope you have your plan and good luck.. LaDean
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Old 04-26-2004, 04:23 PM   #10
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LaDean, you are so correct... It is about portion size and moeration... Anything in excess is not good, so enjoy your food and just learn portion control, that is the best advice I have ever received as far as dieting goes...
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Old 05-01-2004, 12:23 AM   #11
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I don't know a whole lot about the different types of carbs, but I do know that we need them to function.

Some people do really well on the atkins type diet, and keep it off, because that is the lifestyle change that they choose.

Others prefer to cut calories, fat, ect...

I personally do not have a hard time losing weight, and most of my food intake are carbs.

I log my food daily on fitday.com and since last April 2003 my carbs have always been MUCH more than my fat and protein. I've always tried to get my protein higher than my carbs, but it never works.

But the weight still came off, so I don't see carbs as a bad thing. I love carbs, and I am not willing to give them up any time soon
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Old 05-01-2004, 06:00 AM   #12
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Carbs are the body's most efficient energy source. So if you need to conserver and make the most use of the energy available, carbs are the best choice. If, however, you're overweight, then you have the opposite problem: You have excess energy, and so you're looking for an energy source that is actually less efficient. Protein is a good choice there, and has the added bonus of being necessary for increasing muscle mass.

Carbs are the preferred food of the brain
Actually, the brain needs a rather infinitessimal amount of carbohydrate; it would be very very difficult to craft a low-carb diet that is so low that your brain doesn't get enough. If you're simply cutting carbohydrates, without specifically intending on aiming for "no carbs" then it is practically impossible. The brain makes no use of excess carbohydrates.

I have a lot of respect for folks who can maintain a low-carb lifestyle. I'm eat 55% carbs myself, but recognize that that's too much, even though I've lost so much weight and have pretty-much kept it off for two years, this way. While I never limit myself with respect to how much vegetables and fruit I eat, bread, starches like potatoes and corn, pasta, etc., are all little more than empty calories, making the challenge of maintaining my weight-loss just that much more difficult. Sure taste good, but it's always regrets afterwards, eh?
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Old 05-05-2004, 12:37 PM   #13
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I reduced carbs a LITTLE, to around 40% of my daily intake, although that can vary upwards a bit. However, I am unwilling to give them up entirely or to go 'low carb' - I tried it once, didn't lose, and felt awful. I am losing fine and I eat pasta almost daily. Small amounts, to be sure, but WELL over 'low carb' standards.

So I personally don't think low carb is 'mandatory' for everyone. I do also have respect for those who can do it - more power to you!
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Old 05-12-2004, 03:40 PM   #14
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Everyone reacts differently to carbs and yes there are good carbs, I am an atkins follower and I have never eaten more healthier. Every day I am packin in the veggies where b/4 I wouldn't even go near them. I am also eating lean meats, fresh fish and getting my calcium from the cheese and yogurt I am eating where b/4 I wasn't getting any.

I had my blood work done April 6th after being on Atkins for 9 months and I'm proud to say it came back perfect, my cholesterol is great and everything else is in perfect range.

The problem I have with carbs is once I start eating them I can't stop also I get exhausted and litterely I could fall asleep at the dinner table while eating them. Its an awful feeling. Since I've cut my carbs to around 30 I feel so good. I also thought I couldn't cut out my potatoes and pasta but you know, I feel to good to start incorporating that back into my life at this point. Don't forget you can have low carb fruit, strawberries, berries, mellons (not watermellon).

I have 60 more lbs to lose and maybe when I get to goal, I will start to bring back in teeny portions whole wheat pasta or brown rice every once in a while.

Also, I get seasonal depression every year but this year and I swear its from my diet I haven't had the need to go on medication

You need to do whats right for you.

Hope this helps.

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Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
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Old 07-12-2004, 01:35 AM   #15
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I agree with what others have said above. Carbs are not all bad, but you have to eat the right kind to get the good out of them.

It is much better for your body to get the nourishment it needs from an apple, rather than a bagel.

Its best to consume non refined carbs..such as rice, fruit, vegetables, natural sugars..etc.

I think of it this way. What did man first eat when we were around so many years ago? Natural things. I myself am a natural entity, so I must fuel myself with natural things. If I can grow it, then I eat it. If not, then I dont. Its worked well for me so far, and not only am I losing weight, I feel so much better.
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