Popularised by the now debunked Atkins Diet, the idea that one could lose weight by ditching carbs and adding protein is a bad one. The belief that one food group is completely bad and one is good is wrong.
So why are low-carb/ high protein diets so popular? For starters, short-term benefits: Since you are eliminating a huge food group, you are starving your body of calories. Second, these diets are easy to implement because elimination is easier than substitution. The fundamental problem is that this diet is rooted in misconceptions about both protein and carbs. I’ll outline the benefits of both.
Why carbs are good
You need carbs. From being a key macronutrient and an important source of energy, carbs also enhance your mood and help with the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, all very important functions. And get this: carbs are integral to the metabolism of fats. In other words, if you want to cut fat, you need carbs to burn it!
But like good fats and bad fats, there are simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs are sugary foods, chocolates, cakes, sweets and drinks. These are called ‘simple’ because your body doesn’t have to work to digest them. They are high in calories. Avoid. Turn your attention to complex carbohydrates – rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, wholewheat, vegetables and fruits.
Excess protein is harmful