On a diet? Avoid carbs or should you? Here’s what the science says

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 3:29 PM

Cereal is one of the foods classified as a complex carbohydrate. Unlike simple carbs, complex carbs have at least three sugars. Often referred to as starchy foods, complex carbs can be found in lentils, beans, peas, peanuts, potatoes, cereals and whole-grain breads.
Pixabay
Cereal is one of the foods classified as a complex carbohydrate. Unlike simple carbs, complex carbs have at least three sugars. Often referred to as starchy foods, complex carbs can be found in lentils, beans, peas, peanuts, potatoes, cereals and whole-grain breads.(Pixabay)

You’ve probably seen advertisers or bloggers blaming carbohydrates for your inability to lose weight. Or you may have a friend or family member in your life who’s cut carbs as part of a trendy new diet plan.

>> Read more trending news 

While some dietitians have advocated cutting carbs to shed a few pounds, others have suggested the exact opposite. When it comes down to it, what does the science actually say? Are carbs good or bad?

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Here's what you should know and understand about carbohydrates.

What are carbs?

According to Live Science, carbs are "one of the basic food groups" and important to "a healthy life." They are the fibers, starches and sugars found in grains, milk products, fruits and vegetables.

>> Related: These 9 healthy-sounding foods have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut

"Carbohydrates are macronutrients, meaning they are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy, or calories," Paige Smathers, a registered dietitian, said.

There are three types of macronutrients: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. These are essential to keep our bodies functioning properly. Carbohydrates serve as fuel for our central nervous systems and energy to make our muscles function. 

>> Related: 4 carb-filled breakfast foods that won't ruin your diet

Are there different kinds of carbs?

Scientists and nutritionists classify carbohydrates into two groups: simple and complex. The chemical structure of each group is actually different.

Simple carbs generally are dissolved by the body quicker, and contain just one or two sugars. These can be readily found in things like candy, soda and syrups. As these foods don't have vitamins, minerals or fiber, they are often referred to as "empty calories" and can more easily lead to weight gain.

Unlike simple carbs, complex carbs have at least three sugars. Often referred to as starchy foods, complex carbs can be found in lentils, beans, peas, peanuts, potatoes, cereals and whole-grain breads. 

Potatoes are among the foods classified as complex carbs. Others include beans, lentils, peanuts and cereals. (Pixabay)

>> Related: Cutting the carbs: Everything you need to know about the South Beach Diet 

Smathers said that while simple carbs may provide a spike in energy quicker, complex carbs provide a sustained source of energy. 

"It's best to focus on getting primarily complex carbs in your diet, including whole grains and vegetables," she said.

imple carbs have previously been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to some studies.

Do low carb diets work?

Experts actually tend to agree that low-carb diets are not a sustainable weight loss solution.

Part of this is because its difficult to stick with these diets. A 2013 study by researchers at Harvard University found that only 78 percent of dieters on low-carb plans stuck with it for the long term, according to Health. Conversely, 90 percent of people on high-carb diets stuck with it for the long haul.

While you may lose weight by cutting your carb intake, you can also shed pounds just as easily by adjusting the carbs you eat. Simple carbs have little nutritional value, and should be avoided. Complex carbs will actually provide you with more long-term energy, and won't cause weight gain when consumed in moderation.

>> Related: Counting calories isn’t the key to weight loss, study finds 

Complex carbs actually provide significant benefits

Carbs may actually have a significant impact on our mental well-being. A 2009 study actually found that people on low-carb, high-fat diets actually were more likely to have depression, anxiety and anger than people on a low-fat, high-carb diet.

Additionally, carbs appear to be important for improving memory. Researchers at Tufts University had a group of overweight women cut carbs entirely from their diet for one week back in 2008. They then tested the women's cognitive skills, spatial memory and visual attention. The women performed worse than a group of other women who had simply reduced their carb intake by a healthy amount.

>> Related: What's the best way to lose weight with minimal effort?

To cut or not to cut carbs?

If you're struggling to lose weight, complex carbohydrates are not the problem. You should, however, reduce your intake of simple carbs. Not only do these foods have little nutritional value, they are also often consumed as snacks between meals. One of the big reasons people trying to lose weight often struggle, is that they neglect to cut snacking from their diets.

"People frequently forget about the little things during or between meals that add up calorically and can interfere significantly with weight loss," Dr. Melina Jampolis, a board-certified physician nutrition specialist, wrote for CNN.

Healthy, complex carbs can actually be the key to your weight loss. A 2009 study found that individuals who consumed more fiber, something complex carbs are rich with, lost significant amounts of weight. On the other hand, those who cut fiber from their diet actually gained.

>> Related: Want to lose more weight? Ditch your diet for a couple of weeks, study suggests

A balanced diet is the key

A recent study conducted by researchers at Stanford University revealed eating more vegetables along with other whole foods is the key to a healthy diet. The research further suggested that losing weight is more about diet quality than calorie quantity.

According to the research, dieting individuals who reduced their consumption of added sugars, highly processed foods and refined grains (simple carbs) while focusing on increasing their vegetables and whole foods, lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year without limiting the size of portions.

The bottom line? Just like your overall food choices, the science says the quality of the carbs you consume is what matters most.

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Toddler drowns in babysitter's pool, twin brother hospitalized, deputies say

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 12:35 PM



Larry W. Smith/Getty Images
(Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

A young girl drowned and her twin brother was hospitalized Friday after they were found in a swimming pool while staying with a babysitter in Tennessee, according to Knox County sheriff’s deputies.

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The children, who were identified only as nearly 2-year-old twins, were staying at a home on Fox Lonas Road in West Knox County when the incident happened, deputies said. Their babysitter told authorities that she began to look for the twins after another child arrived at her home around 10 a.m. Friday.

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She said she found them in the deep end of a swimming pool, deputies said.

First responders attempted to revive the children and rushed them to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in critical condition, WBIR reported.

Deputies said the girl was pronounced dead at the hospital. The boy was on life support Friday.

Authorities are investigating the incident.

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'I'm just lost': Relatives talk about losing 9 family members in duck boat accident

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

9 Members of Same Family Among 17 Killed in Duck Boat Accident

A metro Atlanta man told WSBTV that he is “just lost” after losing nine of his relatives in a duck boat accident on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake on Thursday.

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“I don’t know. I can’t place it. I can’t imagine it,” Gary Coleman told WSBTV. “We’ve had a death in the family — one or two. Not a whole family at one time.”

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Gary Coleman and his wife, Carolyn Coleman, who live in Riverdale, said it doesn’t seem real.

There were 11 Colemans on the duck boat and only two survived, Gary Coleman said. He said they were on an annual family trip. WSBTV learned the family wasn’t supposed to be on that specific duck boat, but a ticket mix-up is why they were on board.

>> 9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri

Early Thursday, he released a photo of eight of the relatives who died in the accident. Gary Coleman said everyone in the photo except for the woman on the far left, Tia, and the teenage boy on the far right, Donovan, died in the accident, according to WSBTV.

(Gary Coleman)

“I’ve just been looking at this picture all day,” he told the news station.

The family is from Indianapolis. Gary said the deceased include two of his brothers, Butch and Ray, his niece Angela, his nephew Glen and his grandnephews Maxwell and Reese. Butch’s wife, Belinda, also died, as did two young children, who Gary Coleman didn’t name. 

Tia and Donovan Coleman were the two survivors.

>> Captain said not to worry about life jackets before deadly duck boat crash, survivor says

The accident killed 17 people and injured 14 when the boat capsized after a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Officials said the victims range in age from 1 to 70 years old.

Gary and Carolyn Coleman question why the boat went out at all.

>> Tourist attraction in Georgia suspends duck boats after Missouri tragedy

“My biggest question is why did that boat go out? They had thunderstorm warning all day coming through Kansas and Missouri,” Gary Coleman said.

Though the loss of nine family members is devastating, they’re trying to find solace through their faith.

“We’re just going to trust and keep faith in God that he can soothe our spirits because this isn’t easy,” Carolyn Coleman said.

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Heart doctor for former President H.W. Bush killed in bicycle drive-by shooting 

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

Cardiologist for Former President George H.W. Bush Killed in Bicycle Drive-By Shooting

A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was shot and killed Friday in a bicycle drive-by shooting near Texas Medical Center in Houston.

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Police said Dr. Mark Hausknecht, 65, was riding his bicycle near Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women just before 9 a.m. on Friday when he was shot by another bicyclist going in the other direction, Houston Police tweeted.

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The man fired two shots at Hausknecht before taking off on his bike, police said.

Hausknecht was on his way to work at the time, KTRK reported. A witness flagged down a private ambulance driving by the scene. Emergency crews rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

Investigators do not know if the shooting was random or targeted, or possibly the result of road rage.

Jim McGrath, spokesperson for former President H.W. Bush, 94, issued a statement on Twitter.

“Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man,” President Bush said in the statement. “I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care. His family is in our prayers.”

The suspect in the shooting is still at large, CNN reports. He is described as a 30-year-old white or Hispanic man, wearing a tan baseball cap, grey jacket, khaki shorts and riding a light-colored mountain bicycle. 

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Marine son stationed overseas surprises firefighter father for his birthday

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 11:57 AM

Perry Clanton hugs his son, Marine Corps. Cpl. Matthew Clanton, after he was surprised at a birthday celebration in Lancaster, South Carolina, on Friday, July 20, 2018.
WSOCTV.com
Perry Clanton hugs his son, Marine Corps. Cpl. Matthew Clanton, after he was surprised at a birthday celebration in Lancaster, South Carolina, on Friday, July 20, 2018.(WSOCTV.com)

A Marine stationed in Norway traveled around the globe to surprise his father in South Carolina on his birthday.

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The two reunited in an emotional moment at Friday’s celebration for Perry Clanton, an assistant volunteer fire chief, in Lancaster, South Carolina. Family and friends gathered for the occasion at the Buford Fire and Rescue building.

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Clanton thought he was doing an interview with WSOCTV, but instead, his son, Cpl. Matthew Clanton walked into the room.

“I’m so proud of him, to have him home,” Perry Clanton said. “No one told me anyone would be here. (It) truly is a gift.”

Perry Clanton was also honored for his work in the community with diabetes. His father-in-law died from complications of diabetes a few years ago, and Clanton was diagnosed with diabetes in 2015. He lost more than 100 pounds to get healthy and urged others to do the same.

>> See more on WSOCTV.com

“He's always been there for me,” Matthew Clanton said. “If this is one thing I can do for him, to be here for him, he’s one of my big heroes that I look up to.”

Matthew Clanton gave his father a plaque, with a proclamation calling the day “Perry Clanton Day."

“When you finally reach that moment, get diabetes managed, you want to share that,” Perry Clanton said.

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