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Carbohydrates are an essential food component. They are one of the three macro nutrients in food that we consume daily. They have been nicknamed carbs. And if carbs could talk, they would ask everyone to give them a break. The idea that carbs make you fat has been repeated many times; it feels true to most of us.

Most unintended weight gain is often blamed on the consumption of carbs. But, contrary to the popular carbs make you fat myth, you need carbs for every function. This includes the loss of fat, muscle gain, and weight management. It all depends on what type of carbs you consume and in what quantity.

You might be wondering why this is a myth. The best way to understand how carbs work is to understand their components and body.

There are three types of carbohydrates. They include sugars, which are also called monosaccharides and are easily absorbable as they are. Starch contains longer chains of sugars and is also called a polysaccharide. The third type of carbohydrate is dietary fiber which is also a polysaccharide. These polysaccharides need to be broken down into monosaccharides for absorption. Unlike starch, dietary fibre cannot be digested by the gut.

The carbohydrates you consume are broken down in the digestive system by enzymes. This breakdown reduces them to a monosaccharide to enable the small intestine to absorb into the bloodstream. Following absorption, the blood sugar rises and stimulates insulin release. This prompts glucose absorption by cells.

The subsequent insulin also signals the liver to store any excess glucose for later use. The liver, like phone storage, has a limited capacity. Whatever excess glucose the liver can’t store turns into fat and is stored in the body’s fat cells for later use.

Even though it has been disapproved in various studies, the myth that carbs make you fat might have its origin from this theory .

Why Carbs Don’t Make You Fat

There are free sugars in drinks, chocolate, honey, and syrups. They are also present in natural fruit and juices, unsweetened smoothies, and vegetable juice.


Starch is a plant-based nutrient such as potatoes and rice. You’ve probably heard the term “starchy vegetables” before. Starch is a polysaccharide that is often broken down slowly throughout the day to provide the body with energy.


It is found in plant-based food cell walls, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

It is recommended to get 45-65% of your daily energy from carbs in your diet. They are the primary energy source for your brain, to fuel your muscle movements and to perform every function your body needs to throughout the day. Carbs are not the problem. They have never been.

Regular eating of refined carbs and added sugars leads to a rise in the level of glucose in the body. The receptors of insulin found in the cells then become desensitized due to the escalated glucose levels. This makes them less capable of taking up glucose as required.

Once that happens, the body produces more insulin to prompt the cells to open up to absorb the glucose. That doesn’t happen because the de-sensitivity of the receptors cannot be curbed by more insulin. There is a pool of insulin in the body, which is forced to direct the unabsorbed glucose to the fat cells.

In the fat cells, the glucose will be converted to fat and stored. The storage of fat in the tissues is not a bad thing. This is because it acts as a reservoir for energy when the body needs it.

That is where carbs get their bad name. It isn’t the carbs; it is with the number of carbs that you consume. Carbs don’t make you fat if you consume them in reasonable quantities. Insulin promotes the accumulation of fat in a situation where the body is flooded with too much glucose.

Insulin also plays a huge role in making you feel hungry. If the food you are consuming is more starch and sugar, the cycle of glucose accumulation continues. Because of the popularity of the idea that high carbs make you fat, many people have turned to a low-carb diet. By doing this, they believe that they will either lose weight faster or not gain weight. But that is a misleading fallacy.

The truth is that while a low-carb diet can reduce the level of insulin in the body, it does not magically lead to weight loss. A large randomized controlled trial found no difference in weight loss over 12 months between people on a low-carb versus a low-fat diet.

Calorie Surplus: The Real Culprit Behind Weight Gain

Do calories or carbs make you fat? This is the real question you should be asking. Calories are defined as the energy contained within a drink or food that you consume. As carbs silently take all the punch for things they didn’t do, the calories, sit back and never get mentioned.

The truth is that calories are the real culprits. I am sure you have mentioned that you are burning some calories, but I am not sure you have given it a serious thought.

While carbs have been demonized, it is evident that they are a central part of our diet. Therefore, they cannot be eliminated or be substituted. To repair the damage done to the carbs image, we need to understand that the problem is not the carbs as confirmed by the previously mentioned controlled study.

High insulin levels as a result of a higher-carb diet were not the reason for the subjects weight gain. In fact, both groups lost a similar amount of weight throughout the study.

It is the calories in the food that lead to weight gain. This happens when you consume more calories than you use up. Increased food consumption provides more calories. If you increase your calorie intake without increasing your energy expenditure, that excess energy will get stored as fat, and over time you will gain weight.

There are various ways to burn calories, but exercising remains the most popular one. You can also be more aware of your calorie consumption by checking the packaging. Often, calories might be listed as energy on the box or can. To keep a healthy body weight, the average man requires 2,500 kcal per day while women need 2, 000kcal. If you participate in extreme activities, you need more calories than an average person does.

Effects Of Eliminating Carbs From Your Diet

If you are eliminating carbs from your diet because they make you gain body fat, think again. Complete elimination of carbs from your diet can be detrimental to your health. Complete exclusion of carbs from your diet can lead to fatigue, nausea, depression, and general body weakness since carbs are energy-giving food.

In a sense, carbs are your friend. You just need a healthy way of indulging in them.

Whether you’re looking to simply pep up your fitness routine, jazz up your diet with mouth-watering low-calorie recipes or want to significantly drop that number on your scale – Eatfit has got you covered! Improve your body and revamp your life with us contact me on

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