Carbs vs. Calories: Choose Wisely

What’s something that everyone loves? I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love carbs. They’re just so darn yummy. If you’re trying to lose weight or control diabetes, what should you do? Are carbs or calories your worst enemy?

Without getting into how each diet you see out there works and why it’s good or bad for certain people, here are some general facts about carbohydrates and calories you can use next time you’re deciding what to eat.

Carbohydrates Calories
Comes in a few forms Energy required to metabolize food
Broken down into sugar by the body Not specific to one food group
Can cause blood sugar spikes Net balance = weight loss/gain

A new study that took people at risk for, or with, diabetes found some thought-provoking results. People who ate a low-carb diet had more weight loss, better blood sugar control, and even a reduction in medications for diabetes than those who had a lower calorie, low fat diet.

There are a couple of important messages here. One is that something resulting in weight loss isn’t necessarily healthier. The other is that a diet low in carbohydrates means it will be good for preventing/controlling diabetes because blood sugar levels won’t spike as high.

That said, without balancing the ins and outs of your caloric intake, if your goal is to lose weight, it just won’t work. In order to lose weight, it’s all a numbers game. You need to use more calories than you take in. For most people, cutting out or burning an extra

500 calories per day or 3500 calories per week

is what’s required to lose a pound per week. What those calories are from also matters and can change how your body’s metabolism works, but that’s a good general rule of thumb with the caveat that there are also unhealthy ways of dieting.

If you’re looking to have a healthier diet and want some help, click here to find out how Heartbeat can help you get on the right track or ask a question here.

Published by: Mark P. Abrams, MD

I'm an Internist, Educator, and Cardiology fellow in training. As the Director of Patient Engagement at Heartbeat Health, my goal is to make trustworthy information easily accessible and more available so that people can become more active members of their healthcare teams. By joining together, we can work toward keeping more people healthier, happier, and living longer fulfilling lives.

Categories Diabetes, Nutrition/Diet, Weight Loss/ObesityLeave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s