Are Carbs Giving You Inflammation?

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Most people start a low carb diet to shed a few extra pounds but did you know that switching to a low-carb lifestyle may have a few other benefits that can actually improve your quality of life.

Inflammation
Inflammation has been known as a silent killer (in its most extreme forms). Inflammation (specifically the inflammatory response) is a contributing factor in a host of diseases including Alzheimer’s, cancer, strokes, diabetes and obesity.

Can a low-carb diet reduce inflammation?
Research has shown that a low-carb can help decrease inflammation in your body. Researchers recruited 60 people, ages 30 – 65 who were overweight or obese with an above average amount of belly fat. They were then placed on either a low-carb or low-fat diet. Subjects on the low-carb diet ended up losing more weight than the low-fat diet and had a lower body mass index (BMI). Though, both the low-carb and low-fat diet showed a significant drop in the levels of all three measures of inflammation. This is important because over time, reduced inflammation can be linked to a reduced risk of developing life threatening health concerns.

Not all carbs are the same
Before you start tossing out all your carb filled food it’s important to remember that not all carbs are the same. One study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” researchers analyzed the grain intake of 938 men and women. Those who ate the most whole grains had more positive cholesterol levels and inflammatory markers than those who ate few whole grains.

So how do you know if they’re good carbs
Processed carbs like sugary cereals, instant noodles, sugar, corn syrup and fruit juices are all examples of high-glycemic carbs that can actually raise your inflammatory markers and increase your risk of heart disease. Opt in for things like steel cut oats, whole-real fruit, and whole-wheat pasta. Avoid products with added sugars. Reduced fat products often contain a higher amount of sugar or hidden sugars (dextrose, maltodextrine, high fructose corn syrup) to enhance taste but these carbs are killers.

The best way to begin a low carb diet is by finding the sugary foods you’re eating every day and swapping them out for a healthier, whole-grain option.

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