Life Hack: Carbs Aren't the Enemy!

What can a high-carb, plant-based diet do for you??

The modern diet paradigm is always shifting as trends come and go. As of late, carbohydrates have been totally villainized as being the culprit behind weight gain and low energy... but it isn’t carbohydrates in and of themselves that are the problem.

Scientific evidence continues to accumulate that high-carb, plant-based diets actually improve athletic performance, increase energy, decrease inflammation, improve blood flow, and are correlated with lower average levels of body fat than animal-based diets! 

Confused? 

Not all carbs are created equal! 

The Game Changers

Have you seen “The Game Changers” on Netflix? If you haven’t- OMG, you’ve got to watch it. It’s a documentary that spotlights the ever-increasing numbers of pro athletes that have transitioned to a plant-based diet. The film turns the common dietary misconception that athletes need to eat animal-based protein on its head. 

The commonalities amongst pro athletes who've gone plant-based are staggering. After swapping out animal proteins for plant-based alternatives, athletes are experiencing less fatigue, reduced inflammation, and an overall improvement in their athletic performance. 

We’re basically obsessing over “The Game Changers” because it drives home the key point that a diet high in animal is not necessary to build strong bodies and minds. Even more significant is the revelation that plants actually improve the way that the body and brain function and maximize athletic performance. 

But aren’t carbs bad?? 

The brain’s preferred fuel source is glucose and the muscles’ preferred fuel source is glycogen- both of which come from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come almost exclusively from plant-based sources. 

Carbohydrates in and of themselves are not bad, but refined sugars should be avoided as much as possible. Refined sugars get broken down very quickly by the body, skyrocketing blood sugar which overwhelms your body, and you end up storing the excess sugar as fat. No matter who you are, you want to avoid refined sugars as much as you possibly can. Any rapid spike and crash to your blood glucose level is not good. Cakes, cookies, soda, white bread, table sugar, candy… these hold no nutritional benefit for you and are nothing but a detriment to your body and mind. 

On the other hand, unprocessed plant-based foods provide the body with complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber that your body needs. They keep you feeling fuller longer and also take longer to digest than simple sugars which means that your blood sugar does not spike and then crash. Complex carbs help us to remain mentally sharp and focused and are correlated with healthier body weights. 

What About Protein?

For years, major food conglomerates have invested a massive amount of money and time pushing the narrative that you need animal protein to be healthy and strong. As “The Game Changers” drives home, this is a fallacy. 

When it comes to protein, animals are inefficient middlemen, and the animals that carnivorous humans eat actually get their protein from plants. Look at all of the big, strong animals that eat an entirely plant-based diet- cows, horses, oxen, hippos, rhinos, elephants, gorillas- no one asks where they get their protein! 

All protein originates in plants! Every single plant contains all of the essential amino acids, in varying degrees.  

At the end of the day, a diet that incorporates a large proportion of plant-based ingredients will provide the greatest benefit to your energy levels, cognitive function, immune function, sexual function, strength, weight, and more- whether you’re an athlete or just someone who wants to look and feel their best.