Throughout my 9 years of cooking healthy meals at California Chef, many people have requested no-carb diets, and it still makes me cringe each time I get the request. I work with many nutritionists, dieticians, and doctors, and none of them has ever recommended a no-carb diet for their clients.
Healthy carbs (whole grains, legumes, seeds, vegetables, and fruits) are part of a balanced diet, are your body’s main source of energy, and provide essential nutrients for major bodily functions and organs—even your brain. In fact, a Tufts University study showed that after just one week, women on a no-carb diet had significantly worse memory performance than those eating a low-calorie balanced diet.
Other well-respected sources also support eating a balanced diet that includes healthy carbs, specifically:
According to the Mayo Clinic: “Carbohydrates are vital to your health, [and] evidence shows that eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help you control your weight. Their bulk and fiber content aids weight control by helping you feel full on fewer calories. Contrary to what low-carb diets claim, very few studies show that a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates leads to weight gain or obesity.”
According to the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH): “Foods high in carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. . . . HSPH’s Healthy Eating Plate recommends filling most of your plate with healthy carbohydrates—with vegetables (except potatoes) and fruits taking up about half of your plate, and whole grains filling up about one fourth of your plate.”
According to Dr. Oz: “Carbohydrates are the most misunderstood and maligned of all calorie-producing foods. . . . [Yet] they are the body’s main source of energy. . . . They have been blacklisted by skittish dieters who worry that they are the bane of their weight gain. But low-carb dieters may be misinformed. Eating a diet rich in carbohydrates doesn’t necessarily cause weight gain, but eating too much of the wrong ones can.”
So, if the findings in these studies and advice from these trusted sources aren’t enough for you, I can add that here at California Chef, we have helped hundreds of people lose thousands and thousands of pounds on meal plans that have included healthy carbs! Please consider this evidence before contemplating any diet that excludes carbs. You’ll be glad you did.