6 most popular myths about carbohydrates

Health Tips

To discuss common carbohydrate myths and establish the truth, we invited a nutritionist, dentist and therapist.

Myth 1. Carbohydrates make you fat. Therefore, the most effective diets are carbohydrate-free.

Daria Rusakova: If we talk about calories, then the most “nutritious” are fats. Proteins and carbohydrates provide approximately the same number of calories per unit of mass. However, carbohydrate foods affect blood glucose levels and insulin production, which leads to an increase in appetite. You can’t eat a lot of proteins, but carbohydrates are easy. After protein products, a feeling of satiety persists for a long time, they are digested longer. Eating 300 grams of meat is harder than 300 grams of candy. That is, carbohydrates are easier to overeat – that’s why it is believed that they get fat from them.

But carbohydrate-free diets are not as easy to tolerate as you might think. Carbohydrates are necessary and important for health. On a low-carbohydrate diet, weakness, fatigue, and memory loss appear.

Myth 2. Slow carbs are good, fast carbs are bad.

To begin with, let’s figure out what slow carbohydrates are and what are fast ones. These are not very scientific names, but they explain the essence. Slow carbohydrates slowly increase blood glucose levels, fast carbohydrates quickly.

Slow carbohydrates (starch, fiber, pectins) are complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides). In the body, they first need to decompose to disaccharides, and then to glucose.

Fast carbohydrates are mainly disaccharides (the most famous of them are sucrose and lactose), which break down very quickly into “spare parts”. Accordingly, they quickly increase the level of glucose in the blood and, when not used (that is, in the absence of physical activity), are quickly deposited in stocks.

Elena Toshchakova: But if you feel dizzy or weak during sports, this is hypoglycemia, you need fast carbohydrates. A glass of sweet tea will save you.

Myth 3. Carbohydrates are bad for teeth.

Alexey Shinkarenko: This is not a myth. Simple carbohydrates are bad for teeth. Sugar is a great habitat for pathogenic bacteria, which, when multiplying, contribute to the formation of plaque, which in turn leads to caries. Products made from refined flour (this is muffin and white bread), potatoes and potato products (due to the starch content), and, of course, all kinds of sweets are harmful to the teeth. And black unleavened bread and pasta made from whole flour are not harmful.

Myth 4. Carbohydrates can only be eaten in the morning.

Daria Rusakova: Given that they are quickly absorbed – yes. Protein dinner will protect the refrigerator from your nightly forays. But almost all products are multicomponent, if you look at the composition of milk, then there are more carbohydrates in it than protein. And lactose is generally a disaccharide (that is, a fast carbohydrate). Therefore, it is very difficult not to eat carbohydrates at all in the second half.

Myth 5. Fructose is healthier than sucrose.

Myth 6. Diabetes develops from carbohydrates.

Elena Toshchakova: Diabetes mellitus is a disease that has a multifactorial nature; hereditary predisposition plays an important role in its development. If a person with a hereditary predisposition has a habit of overeating and being overweight, then the first thing the doctor prescribes is a sugar-restricted diet. The rest of the use of carbohydrates will not lead to diabetes.

Photo: shutterstock.com

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