August 27 2014

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Carbs: Friend or Foe


This column features weekly tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox. To submit a question, e-mail

Is cutting out carbs really the best way to lose weight, or can it be debilitating to your body’s ability to digest properly, especially once you reintroduce them?

“We don’t feel that eliminating carbohydrates entirely is the best way to long-term health or maintainable weight loss. Incorporating carbs from whole-food sources like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains is important for a balanced diet. Our bodies need the carbohydrate macronutrient for proper functioning. Carbs are used as fuel for the body, and they are an important energy source for the brain, nervous system, heart, and muscles, and all of your tissues and cells. Fiber is also an important part of the carbohydrate equation. This carb component supports healthy elimination and balanced blood-sugar levels—very important for weight loss and long-term health.

It is important to note that not all carbs are created equal. We emphasize carb intake from fresh produce like vegetables, fruit, and starchy veggies such as squash and sweet potatoes. Some amount of whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa, and millet, work very well for some people, too. Others find that they don’t digest these grains well, and they prefer to limit or avoid these. Soaking your grains overnight before cooking them can make them much easier to digest. We encourage you to try both ways and see what works best for you.

There are some carb sources that are best to avoid completely, like processed and refined grains, flours, syrups, and sugars. These carb sources are lacking in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they are usually very high in sugar. Processed and refined carbohydrates can spike blood-sugar levels, deplete the body of necessary nutrients, and cause excess glucose that isn’t used as energy to be stored as fat. It’s best to stick with whole-food sources of carbohydrates, balanced with protein, healthy fats, and lots of greens.”

The Uruguay-born, New York-based Dr. Alejandro Junger is a pioneer of the modern detox movement. His first book, Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself, was a New York Times Bestseller, and he is a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow, among countless other well-known fans. Most recently, Junger teamed with L.A.-based The Detox Market to offer his groundbreaking Clean detoxification program to the masses.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

The Doctor Is In