Carbs are comforting and delicious – but should you feel guilty about the pleasure? Heck, no! Carbs are a vital part of a balanced diet. Your energy level, mood, and digestive system depend on them. If you skimp (low carb diets usually advocate for as low as 20% of your daily energy intake to come from carbs), you're starving your body of a range of vitamins and minerals, killing your chance of concentration, and making you more susceptible to disease. Here are a few more reasons to love your bread basket.
Carbs make you happy
There's a reason they're called comfort food. Carbohydrates affect the level of serotonin in the brain, relieving depressed moods and aggressiveness. Serotonin also helps to control your appetite, so you'll actually be less likely to overeat when you mow down on carbs. Going low carb means you'll likely be walking around feeling like your head is in the clouds, or worse, super irritable.
Carbs give you energy
While the role of protein in your diet is to repair and maintain your cells, tissues and organs, and fat helps with the production of hormones and cell makeup, carbs give you energy. Your brain and red blood cells rely on them to keep running. Stash a granola bar in your desk drawer for a 3 PM perk up you'll really feel.
Carbs are a great source of fibre
Ever wondered why going low-carb messes with your regularity? Eating nothing but salad and protein all the time means there's no roughage in your system. Complex carbs like whole grains, brown rice, and root vegetables contain tons of fibre, which keeps your digestive system moving and also keeps you full for longer.
Carbs boost your metabolism
Complex carbs high in resistant starch (a type of dietary fibre that moves through your digestive system without actually being digested at all) actually speed up your metabolism. As resistant starch (found in oats, grains, legumes and beans) is "digested," fatty acids that encourage fat burning are released.