Carbs aren’t all badsarsmis/Shutterstock
First, remember that carbs are not the enemy. Healthy complex carbohydrates are needed for any balanced diet, as they offer tons of benefits. Without carbohydrates, you might suffer from low energy levels, emotional instability, and weakened physical and mental performance, among other not-so-great health issues.
Yet, there are certain moments when avoiding carbohydrates might be your best bet for success, whether it’s in achieving a fitness goal or simply gearing up for an event. Plus, you’re always better off sticking to healthy foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains as opposed to refined carbohydrates, which can worsen your health and metabolism. Just see how this woman felt after going refined-carb free for an entire month.
Here, experts explain why ditching carbs and reaching for protein or healthy fats, in certain cases, could be beneficial.
If you’re digging into a bag of chips late at night—perhaps over an episode of Game of Thrones—you might be doing yourself a disservice. Instead, reach for more protein-based foods, like this Mediterranean chicken recipe or a handful of nuts.
Here’s why: “As a general rule, it’s healthier to have a larger meal with high-quality carbohydrates earlier in the day, with the remainder of your meals and snacks being smaller for dinner and the rest of the evening,” says Robert Glatter, MD assistant professor of Emergency Medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital, Northwell Health.
Because you’re ready to hit the sack, your body doesn’t have the time to burn off the carbs through activity, so they might not be the best snack when late-night munchies hit, especially if you’re looking to lose weight. “We are more insulin sensitive at this time and therefore more likely to have a quick release of glucose into the bloodstream, which encourages the fat storing process,” adds Rebecca Gahan, owner and founder of [email protected] Fitness.