Get In Shape: Understanding The Differences Between Carbs and Fat | HealthTN

Get In Shape: Understanding The Differences Between Carbs and Fat

Anastasia Iliou Wellness, Fitness, and Nutrition

Get In Shape: Understanding The Differences Between Carbs and Fat

Are you struggling to find a diet that works for you? You may be focusing on the wrong areas. No two bodies are the same, which is why the same diet plan does not help everyone lose weight. While your friend may find success with a low-carb diet, you may be better off with a low-fat diet.

Let’s look at how which carbs and fats we should incorporate into our diet.


When we eat carbohydrates, our bodies turn it into sugar for energy. If we don’t use that energy, it is stored and can cause weight gain. However, if we don’t eat enough carbs, we may suffer from lack of energy.

Carbohydrates are not limited to pastas and breads. Even juicy fruits that are seemingly healthy (apples, pineapple, bananas, etc.) are loaded with carbohydrates. Surprisingly, other items like green vegetables and cheese are very low in carbs (but cheese is loaded with fat). Some carbs are better than others. Foods that are high in fiber and starch (pasta, rice, oats, beans) take longer to digest, which is why it’s easy to eat more than you need. Foods that have natural sugars (fruits, milk, some vegetables) are more digestible and can give you a quick burst of energy. That’s why if you want to try a low-carb diet, the best approach is to cut out carbs that are high in fiber and starch.

The “Keto,” or ketogenic diet is a popular diet where you need to try to stay below 20 carbs per day. Some people who take this approach are very successful, while others are left feeling fatigued and even sick from cutting out too many carbs. Those who take the low-carb diet approach can feel fuller by eating more fats. If cutting out carbs doesn’t work for you, you may be better off focusing on cutting out fats.


Most of the fats we eat come from nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and animal fats. Fats help us feel full, reduce inflammation, and can even help protect your heart and other organs (when eaten in healthy doses). Like carbohydrates, there are good fats and bad fats. Animal fat falls into the bad fat category. That’s why on a low-fat diet, you should choose leaner meats like fish and chicken instead of beef. Vegetable oil, seeds, and nuts are healthy fats. On a low-fat diet, healthy fats are ok in moderation.

Cutting out fat completely can hurt your cholesterol and seriously cut down on your energy. Those who want to focus on a low-fat diet should seriously limit animal fats and focus on healthier fats.

The Best Diet

The best diet really depends on you and your body. Our best advice is to enjoy everything in moderation. Your body needs carbs and fats to thrive (yes, really) and cutting them out completely can make you feel ill. You’ll have to figure out what kind of diet provides the best balance and keeps you feeling great.

Anastasia graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor's degree in Songwriting. When she's not writing, she's on a mission to visit all 50 states in the U.S (and to date has reached 41). Anastasia loves writing music, hiking, and playing with her pets (hedgehog, cat, and dog). She loves animals (but not so much bugs) and spends her free time volunteering for The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennesee.