If you hear that a particular food contains a lot of carbs then you may think that it is something that should be avoided especially when following a low carb keto diet plan and we hear a lot about cutting carbs on keto across the health media.
However, this is not the case as not all carbs are actually bad for you while doing keto. In fact when you follow the Keto diet you are encouraged to eat certain complex carbs that are found in wholegrain foods. So cutting carbs out completely is not something that is recommended when you are following this eating plan.
Should We Be Cutting Carbs on Keto?
That said it is recommended that you consume some carbohydrates in the Keto diet but they are not an essential food group. This is because your body can produce everything that it gets from carbs by itself.
However, by ensuring that you consume good carbs then you are making things easier on your body. The basis of the Keto diet is that you encourage your body to enter a state of Ketosis. This is a metabolic state where the levels of ketones in your organs are at a higher level than normal. When your body is in ketosis it is much easier for you to burn calories and any excess energy that is needed from your body will be taken from existing fat stores.
When your body is in a constant state of Ketosis then it becomes very efficient at burning fat which is why it is an effective weight loss strategy. It is possible to keep your body in this state even when you consume carbs and so there is no need to cut them out completely. However, you do need to ensure that you are not consuming excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates.
The Keto diet encourages you to consume carbohydrates that are found in wholegrain foods and vegetables. You should avoid simple carbs that are found in white bread and in foods that contain a lot of fat. Carbs should not be cut from your diet completely because they actually have a number of benefits and some of these are described in more detail below.
Carbs Help Your Brain To Function Properly
In order for your brain to work properly then it needs glucose. Your body is able to produce this from protein but it is better for it to come directly from carbs. A lack of glucose in the brain can lead to problems with memory and some people may find it more difficult to think clearly.
If you are currently trying to learn a new skill or studying for an exam then you may find it more difficult to retain information. Providing your brain with enough glucose is one of the main reasons why you should not cut carbs from your diet completely.
It Can Help Prevent Bloating
When good carbs are consumed through fruit and vegetables then you will also be consuming a good amount of fibre. This is important for making sure that your digestive system works well.
Fibre can help to keep your bowel movements regular and this in turn can help to prevent bloating. When you are trying to decide whether a particular food can be consumed on the Keto plan then you will ideally want to choose carbs that have high amounts of fibre but low amounts of sugar.
Consuming Carbs Can Improve Your Mood
The food that you eat can affect the hormones in your body and therefore good food can lead to a good mood. There is a reason that the saying ‘you are what you eat’ has been around for such a long time.
There are carbs in a lot of junk food but because these are not good carbs then you can feel quite lazy and sluggish after the junk food has been eaten. However, the carbs that are found in vegetables encourage production of serotonin in the body. This hormone causes a chemical reaction in the brain which makes you feel happier and more confident in yourself.
Vegetables Contain A Lot Of Vitamins
There is no food that contains carbs and nothing else so there is a good chance that there will be other benefits to eating certain foods. Fruit and vegetables in particular provide the body with a lot of nutrients which is why we should all try to get our five a day. Vitamins play an important role in helping the body to function properly and they also provide the body with energy.
If you restricted all carbs from your diet then you would also be reducing the amount of vitamins that you were consuming and cutting carbs on keto this way could be detrimental for your health. One of the best ways to assess whether particular foods are good to eat on a Keto diet is to see where they rank on the Glycemic Index. This shows you how long it takes for carbs to be absorbed into your bloodstream after they have been eaten.
Our View on Cutting Carbs on the Keto Lifestyle
When you are following a Keto diet you want to choose foods that rank at the bottom of the index. Starchy vegetables tend to have a low ranking which means that they will not cause your blood sugar to rise quickly after eating. This can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer and makes it less likely that you will snack between meals.
When it comes to following a healthy balanced diet, the key is not consume too much of one particular food group. If you consume too many carbs then it becomes hard for your body to process all these bad carbohydrates and this can lead to you gaining weight or staying the same.
However, as long as they are consumed in moderation then there is no need to feel too guilty about including some carbs in your diet, especially if they are eaten in the form of vegetables and of the right food group..
So cutting out carbs while on a keto focussed lifestyle altogether can probably do more harm than good as time goes by. Thus is something that is probably best avoided while embarking on a formulated keto weight loss plan.
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