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Carbohydrates—what eggheads refer to as CH2O—are made up of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen molecules; carbs are considered to be an energy source for the body and contain four calories per gram. (Fat contains nine calories per gram.)
Simple carbs (sugar, soda, candy) are digested rapidly and are a quick source of energy. Complex carbs (greens, whole grains, starchy veggies) are slower to digest and provide energy at a more constant rate than the energy spikes you get from simple carbs.
Eating carbs won’t make you fat. Eating too many calories will.
Fiber, a complex carb that the body can not digest and helps move waste through your intestinal tract, causes flatulence. Fiber is sometimes referred to as “nature’s broom” for its ability to clean you out.
According to a study of 80,000 Japanese people eating a high-carb, low-fat diet, people adhering to the country’s recommended dietary guidelines are 15% less likely to die of any cause, including cardiovascular disease and stroke. Japan has the second-highest life-expectancy rate (83 years) and an obesity rate of just 3.5%.
A one-year study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed people who followed a low-carb diet (20 to 40 grams daily) experienced more depression, anxiety, and anger than those who took part in a low-fat, high-carb diet.
Sugar alcohols, synthetic carbs that are diabetic-friendly and found in “sugar-free” or “no sugar added” foods, contain zero sugar and alcohol. They taste sweet and have about one-half to one-third fewer calories than sugar. Common forms of sugar alcohols include sorbitol, isomalt, and xylitol, which can be found in cough drops, ice cream, and chewing gum. Xylitol is known to cause upset stomach, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
In a study published in Clinical Endocrinology, researchers found that men of varying ages who received oral glucose injections had a significant reduction in testosterone levels.
A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology reveals that consuming carbs right after a rigorous workout may help fight off colds. Eating one or two ounces of carbs can help restore immune function.
After years of studies debating which diet works better, the National Institutes of Health has a verdict. In 2015, the NIH had 19 obese adults test both diets for two weeks. After being tested and analyzed in metabolic chambers, they revealed the average participant lost 463 grams on the low-fat diet vs. 245 grams on the low-carb diet.