Carbs make you fat: It’s a notion that’s been lingering ever since “low-carb” first became a thing. And while most of us have loosened the reigns on our “all carbs are bad” mentality, we still tend to think of carbohydrates pretty skeptically, especially where pound dropping is concerned. Often our reservations completely unfounded, though—and they may even be working against us. Here are four carb myths that can do a real number on the scale.
White Potatoes Are Evil
If you stick to sweet potatoes—or just scrap spuds entirely—you could be missing out on a host of weight-loss-supporting nutrients, suggests research published in Advances in Nutrition. Case in point: One medium white potato provides 11 percent of your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of fiber, which promotes satiety and weight loss. Plus, a single spud packs 12 percent of your RDA of magnesium and a whopping 26 percent of your RDA of potassium.
Carbs Send Your Blood Sugar on a Wild Ride
“Whole carbs contain fiber and resistant starch, both of which help you feel full, improve insulin sensitivity, and control blood sugar,” says Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., author of The One One One Diet. And the steadier your blood sugar, the less insulin you have shuttling sugar into your fat stores.
You Don’t Need Carbs for Exercise
When you eat carbs, your body converts them—and files them away in your muscles—as glycogen. And those stored carbs are your muscles’ primarily fuel source. So if you want to torch calories in the gym, you need some carbs in your system, says Batayneh. Learn when it’s a good idea to carb up before a workout.
It’s Best to Swap Sugar for Zero-Calorie Artificial Sweeteners
Refined sugar should definitely be consumed in moderation, but when it comes to sweetening your morning coffee, grabbing a packet of chemicals may be even worse for your waistline. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, they may throw off your body’s ability to gauge your calorie intake.
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