Carbs or Cocaine: Which Is More Addictive?

Bread, bread, bread. There’s a decent possibility you’re a fan of it. And if you can resist a basket of rolls at a restaurant, you’re definitely tempted by another carb.

Have you ever wondered why we eat so much spaghetti, pizza, burgers, and plain bread? Carbs give you a rush, similar to cocaine.

With the start of a new year, there’s a good chance you’ve resolved to get in better condition. This entails consuming less bread and carbohydrates.

Even if you consider yourself to be a motivated and strong-willed person, this isn’t easy. Carbohydrates, you see, cause cravings in the brain and can cause great wanting for them.

Sure, carbohydrates aren’t a drug, but in the same way, coke can wreck your brain, carbs can wreck your body. While some carb lovers may be pointing to the food pyramid for justification, keep in mind that the graph was created in the ’70s, long before obesity became such an epidemic.

Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health says,

“You could live your whole life and never eat a single carbohydrate—other than what you get from mother’s milk and the tiny amount that comes naturally in meat—and probably be just fine.”

Yes, we need carbohydrates, but our bodies can make them with the good stuff we eat, like leafy greens and even animal fat. We don’t need refined carbs.

Are carbs necessary?

While we do need a certain amount of carbohydrates to fuel all of our metabolic processes so we can have the energy to do things from breathing, digesting, running, doing work, thinking, etc. there is too much of a good thing. Especially if the “thing” is refined carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates will short-circuit your body.

It all boils down to this: the more refined the carbohydrates, the faster they turn into sugar. But make no mistake: all carbs eventually turn into sugar, even if it happens slowly.

Your cells hunt for glucose to turn into energy as your body breaks down food. They pass this information on to your body’s muscles and tissues. If they have too much glucose, they store it, primarily in the liver, but the rest is stored as fat.

Because all carbohydrates end up as glucose, too much of any carbohydrate can contribute to chronic illnesses like obesity and diabetes.

All carbohydrates convert to sugar in your bloodstream.

Your metabolism saves energy from food so that you can use it later as fuel, such as for exercise or just getting through the day.

If you eat a high-carbohydrate diet (think: bagel for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for supper), your metabolism will be reprogrammed, and your food will be stored as unburnable fat. You’ll only want carbs when you’re hungry again.

Reap the health benefits of good carbs

Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those articles that tells you to go carb-free and ignore your cravings. While it would be a huge accomplishment, for now, you can concentrate on choosing fiber-rich carbohydrates.

These are the carbs that take a long time to get into your system, avoiding harmful blood sugar spikes. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and, of course, beans are among them.

Eat fewer refined and processed carbohydrates, which remove essential fiber, to reduce the health risks of poor carbs. While picking up a cinnamon bun while shopping at the mall can be enticing, is it really worth risking your health for?

When preparing or ordering a meal, substitute veggies for refined carbohydrates. One of my favorite substitutions for rice is riced cauliflower. It’s fantastic in everything from southern cuisine to a curry-heavy dish!

Also, remember that carbohydrates can be obtained through fruits, vegetables, and protein. Start small by ordering your next burger without the bun and replacing it with lettuce.

It’s not about completely changing your eating habits; rather, it’s about swapping some of the less healthy ones.

Do what you can to lessen your consumption of pasta, white bread, white rice, and chips in particular. This is so tricky since these are the items that always seem to be within reach.

If you eat regularly throughout the day and keep your blood sugar steady, it can be much easier to say no to these tempting foods.

Just say no

When you’re tempted to get a bagel at Panera or order a slice of bread at a restaurant, consider that you wouldn’t start your day or a meal by swallowing narcotics, so why would you pay for something so harmful to your health?

It may seem dramatic to think of it this way, but the evidence shows that refined carbs are needless, unhealthy, and foolish. Dare to oppose!

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