Do Carbohydrates Cause Weight Gain?

Carbohydrates is one of the macronutrients which are responsible for providing energy to the body. During digestion, the body breaks down carbohydrates to simple sugars, mostly glucose. Glucose is then transported to all our cells where it is stored, used to make energy.

Carbohydrates are essential for proper functioning of the nervous system, heart, and kidneys. Glucose can be stored in the body for future use called Glycogen.

One gram of carbohydrates yields four kilocalories of energy for the cells in the body to perform work.

For many people, their carbohydrate choices are an issue such as simple carbohydrates like sugar, candy, soda, pizza, muffins, cakes, sweetened beverages, white flours, white bread etc.). But if they move to complex carbohydrates (presence of fiber) such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, lentils, brown rice, vegetables, fruit, whole grain, whole wheat, rolled oats, broken wheat, millets that would have a significant reduction in any type of weight gain due to the more complex nature of these foods. Due to presence of fiber in these foods they will feel more satiate, less cravings, blood sugar will not spike and more lasting energy to perform any work.

Carbohydrates alone do not cause weight gain. Weight gain occurs when you consume more energy than what your body needs. If the calories intake is more than calories burn throughout the day then person will gain weight.

Be wise when choosing carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans and grains. Minimize your intake of high carbohydrate foods that provide little to no nutrition like high sugar or highly refined grains, breads, cereals and baked goods.

Pancreases release Insulin

When you eat simple form of carbs or refine carbs which has no or little fiber in it then it causes blood sugar spike and pancreas produces insulin to maintain optimal blood sugar levels. The more insulin in your blood, the more your body converts carbs to fat that then gets stored in your body which bring on a feeling of hunger and food cravings.

Processed Refined Carbs

When you eat refined or simple forms of carbs blood sugar level spikes and pancreases release insulin to stabilize blood sugar. Eating these kinds of carbs for long time can lead to insulin resistance. If you have insulin resistance, your cells are not able to effectively use insulin and your blood sugar levels rise, usually leading to pre-diabetes and, if left uncontrolled, Type 2 diabetes. A person can enjoy simple carbs as well once in a while in a party or any event but shouldn’t be part of regular diet. Another good time to take it either pre-workout when you need energy during exercise or post workout when your insulin levels down and to reach blood sugar level at optimum level.


Don’t get scared about carbs that eating them leads to weight gain. Concentrate on eating high fiber carbs and eliminate refined or processed carbs and combine with protein and/or fat, as this will lengthen the digestion process and further stabilize energy levels and blood sugar and you don’t have to worry about counting carbs.

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