Carbohydrates — Good or Bad for You?

Over the years, carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation. Diets such as Atkins and South Beach promote easy, rapid weight loss that can be very attractive to someone trying to lose weight.

By restricting the amounts of carbohydrate that you eat, these diets claim that you can turn your body into a fat-burning machine. When you limit carbohydrates, however, you deprive your body of a main source of fuel — and many essential nutrients that you need to stay healthy.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are foods that get converted into glucose, or sugar, in our bodies during digestion. Glucose is a main source of fuel for our body. It is especially important for the brain, which cannot easily use other fuel sources (such as fat or protein) for energy.

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