It's been a long time now, in many circles, that carbohydrates have received a bad rap. Vast portions of the population have dismissed an entire macro nutrient and joined the ranks of the many who not only eschew simple, sugary carbs, but all of them completely.

I jumped on the low-carb train a few times, so I understand the temptation to want to see that quick weight-loss. But for me, ultimately, it wasn't sustainable. Now, as someone who eats a mostly whole foods, plant-based diet, giving up carbs is not something I will ever do again. I've seen how crucial of a role they play.

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It is my opinion that the majority of humans thrive on carbohydrates. When I was low-carbing, I did lose some weight. But, long term, I started to notice I wasn't as mentally alert and my skin started to look like I was ill. My mood also suffered tremendously.

Carbohydrates are a primary fuel source for humans and have been for millennia. Research shows that signs of not getting enough carbs can lead to lethargy, brain fog, and significant dips in mood. Often, when people eliminate carbs they find it much more difficult to get the fiber they need which often leads to constipation.

Here's a nicely balanced article from the experts at The Cleveland Clinic.

I've noticed when I've had discussions with people who think all carbs are bad, that they're often grouping them all into one category. A donut is not the same as a slice of whole grain bread. Fruit juice made from concentrate with added sugars is not the same as an orange eaten in it's entirety. The pace at which these foods cause your blood sugar to spike differs greatly.

As someone who has done both low-carb diets and high-carb diets, I can tell you for the long term, the whole foods plant based diet has been the most successful for me, by far. Now, I'm not advocating that all people need to eat exactly the same things. Yet, I can just tell you that for me, and many others, this has been easier and more sustainable for the long-term.

At the same time, it's always wise to keep things in balance. If you have concerns about the rate of sugar absorption into your bloodstream, you might consider pairing your carbs with a bit of protein. Some examples could include enjoying that honey-crisp apple with a bit of nut butter. Love blueberries? Mix them with some Greek yogurt. Enjoy those roasted sweet potatoes with legumes or a bit chicken.

Get a healthy view about whether or not to eat carbs here.