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I am trying to lose weight. Should I limit or avoid carbohydrates?

I am trying to lose weight. Should I limit or avoid carbohydrates?

Answer: Some carbohydrates are healthier than others, but ultimately eating more calories than you burn makes you fat, whether those calories come from carbohydrates, protein or fat.  At the end of the day it’s not what you eat but how much you eat when it comes to weight loss. Because of that, any amount of food you eat above your total daily burn will be stored as fat. Interestingly enough, often carbohydrates are the least likely of the three food types to become fat. The body must expend considerable energy to convert carbs to fat, while it is very easy and less calorically expensive to store dietary fat as body fat.

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Carbohydrates as a class of nutrients are often unfairly blamed for weight gain. This is due to the excessive intake of not only calories, but food choices that would not be considered wise in anyone's “book”, especially if one is trying to lose or control their weight.

Cakes, cookies, sweets, sugar sweetened beverages and enormous portions of carbohydrate containing foods are not wise to eat on a regular basis. With the low activity level that most people have during a day, this type of eating results in far too many calories consumed and contributes to weight gain. Remember, excess calories cause weight gain, so choose your carbohydrates wisely: whole grain, fruits and vegetables should make up anywhere from 40-60% of your diet if you want to feel your best while losing weight. For more, see Weight Control 101.

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