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The Truth About Carbs

No doubt you've heard something recently about carbohydrates and their role in diet and weight loss. A popular fad at the moment is to decrease or eliminate carbohydrates in the hope of losing weight. Unfortunately, that fad is based on nutritional information that is simply incorrect.

With a long history of providing science-based weight-loss programs that are safe, healthy, and focused on the long term, you can count on Weight Watchers to give you sound information. No- and low-carb diets may be the latest "craze" in weight loss, but they've taken the sound idea of cutting back on empty calories and hijacked it into extreme, flawed thinking. The pseudo- science that's making the rounds says things like "only carbs can turn to fat," "how many calories you eat has nothing to do with what you weigh," and "carbs are bad for your health."

Sounds possible, but it's not true. Fact is, any calories eaten beyond what your body burns are stored as body fat.

So how do some people lose weight by following a no- or low-carb diet? A scientific review published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association* answers the question: People following these extreme diets ate fewer calories. Being told to eat unrestricted amounts of one type of food doesn't even begin to make up for what's been cut.

So if you need to cut calories to lose weight, should you cut out all carbs? No! Many carbs -- including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat dairy -- provide essential nutrients and are vital to your health and well-being. On the other hand, excess consumption of saturated fat and trans fat has been repeatedly shown to hurt your long-term health. So, although weight loss is an important health goal, finding a smart, healthy way to lose the weight and keep it off is what counts.

In the package of articles that follows, we present the truth about carbs. Read on to learn more about how carbs can be part of a healthy weight-loss program. We provide you with important basic information as well as a "carb scorecard" that will help you learn more about specific carbs and what they can do for you.

Here's to a healthy step on your journey toward long-term weight-loss!
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