Whether it’s dinner rolls, biscuits or a French loaf, carbohydrates are a staple in our diets!
But for the last decade, all we have heard is how we should “cut the carbs” in order to lose weight. So what do we do? We cut out the pasta, bread, etc. and continue to exercise.
But wait…what happens to our energy? Where is the balance in all of this?
Now, I am not a nutritionist by any means, but I do have a bit of knowledge on carbs and how you can make wiser decisions about your carb consumption.
Carbohydrates are not all bad. We need them for a steady supply of glucose for our body and brain to function well.
But there are two types of carbohydrates -- complex and simple (also known as “good carbs” and “bad carbs”).
Carbohydrates are energy foods that once consumed, are broken down into sugar so the body can then use the sugar for fuel. The complex carbs have complicated molecules that break down gradually in the body and deliver a steady supply of sugar to the bloodstream that can be used for energy and keep those energy levels up in the body. Examples of complex carbs include whole grain breads and pastas, starchy vegetables and beans.
White bread, white pasta, white rice (notice a pattern here) on the other hand are examples of simple carbs and they are made up of simple molecules that the body can easily break down into sugar. The sugar floods the system and causes a spike in blood sugar. We have all experienced that feeling before!
But here is the downfall. Because the system is flooded with all this sugar at once, it cannot accommodate it all and the body needs to store the excess sugar somewhere. (Hello, belly!…Hello, hips!…Hello, thighs!)
Yes, the excess sugar is converted to something called glycogen and is eventually stored as fat in the body.
Now there are simple carbs that are not always bad for you, which includes fruits such as apples and bananas. They do have those simple carbs that break down easily, but they also provide the body with much needed vitamins and minerals.
The key to carbs (and everything in life) is finding that balance.
Try incorporating some whole wheat pasta into one of your favorite dishes. Switch out your regular white rice for some brown rice with dinner.
Eat an apple for a sweet snack instead of that apple fritter.
Making small changes such as these can have big payoffs in your overall health.