Team fats or carbs?! That is almost a shakespearean question that i always get asked. Let's dive in what tips the scale in the F vs C debate!
Fat is a macronutrient and a source of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make itself and carbohydrates are fiber, starches and sugars - also macronutrients, meaning they are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy.
Both play important roles in our health but there are a couple of things that tip the scale:
Both fats and cabs can be more or less beneficial to our bodies so the quality of macronutrients is very important:
Take fats - saturated (say cheeeese, they also come from animals, coconuts, the fruit of oil palm trees) and trans fat (found in fried foods) can raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”) levels in the blood which is a leading risk factor for heart disease. Also that bag of potato chips (but it's vegetables, right? Wrong!) or morning crunchy bacon doesn't have fiber, vitamins and minerals that are all essential to our gut health. Trans oils also create inflammation and contribute to insulin resistance - thanks, i'll pass.
Carbs turn - candy bars, sweetened with added sugar drinks (i won't even mention sodas;), refined grains and flours (drops a bagel) or "simple carbs" have been stripped of their nutrition and also increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and wreck havoc on the digestive track. Dietary fiber and whole grains (for healthy individual without autoimmune conditions or diseases) or "complex carbs" on another hand contain a unique blend of bioactive components including resistant starches, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants that help us live longer and healthier.
We all know that "too much of a good thing can't be good anymore". Same goes to carbs and fats: carbs affect your blood sugar levels and can cause a lot of issues when not being monitored or when you already have blood sugar conditions.
3. Personal preference
Bio individuality, or our own unique nutritional requirements, likes and dislikes, comes in to play when an overall healthy individual wants to decide which team to stick with. Try both (not at the same time though) styles of eating to see how your body reacts and how you feel physically and emotionally. You could also try to alternate them, especially if you are a woman: first two weeks of the cycle eat more carbs, and for the last two eat more fats which could potentially help with PMS, food cravings and mood changes.
4. So what the heck do i eat?
Focus on non-starchy vegetables, whole fruits, foods high in fiber and low in glycemic index, whole grains (again if you can stomach them), and unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated like omega-3s). The goal should be a well-balanced nutrition plan that provides enough, but not too much, of each nutrient that we need.