5 Signs That You Should Be Eating More Carbs
Carbohydrates have been villanized for decades, and with new low-carb and keto diets springing up seemingly every week, this villainization doesn’t show signs of stopping. But are carbs really that bad for us? Although some people can do just fine on low-carb diets, many others can quickly feel the effects of not having enough of these glucose-rich foods that are our body’s preferred source of fuel. Let’s take a look at the top five signs that your body needs more carbs.
1. Dysfunctional Digestion
Carbs are the only source of fiber, which helps to keep our bowel movements regular. Without enough fiber, many people experience constipation or bloating, as their bodies can’t eliminate quickly or easily. Plus, most Americans already don’t consume enough fiber as it is, so cutting out fiber from whole grains, beans, and fruits can lower it even more.
2. Fatigue and Low Energy
Feeling both mentally and physically exhausted can be a sign that your body and brain aren’t getting enough glucose, which comes from carbohydrate breakdown. If you’re feeling sluggish on a low-carb diet, try eating a piece of fruit and see if your energy snaps back.
3. Cranky Moods
Similarly, people can become moody or cranky without enough carbs — and not just because they’re craving a cookie. Carbohydrates are one way that our bodies produce serotonin, the feel-good happy hormone that balances mood.
4. Poor Exercise Performance
Our muscles require fuel, just as our brains do. Without enough carbohydrates breaking down into glucose, physical performance can suffer — especially for athletes or those doing high-intensity workouts.
5. Bad Breath
Perhaps surprisingly, not having enough carbs can cause bad breath — a common symptom of people on a keto diet. The keto diet changes the body’s primary source of fuel from glucose to chemicals called ketone bodies that come from fat breakdown. These ketones are released in the breath and can create a not-so-pleasant smell, so you may be due for some carbohydrates if you reach for the mints more often than not.