Carbs are not the enemy

We've all been told by someone or other that carbs are bad, no carbs before Marbs ring any bells? We have the tendency to cut out carbohydrates when we want to lose weight, but is that really necessary? Are carbs the new fats whereby the media portrays them as something bad, when in reality they're actually good for us? 

What is a carbohydrate? 

Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients along with fats and proteins that our body needs, without these foods our body cannot function properly and we get all sorts of deficiencies. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose and used as a source of energy in our day to day lives and when we exercise, they are the main source of energy before fats and proteins. They can be separated into two groups, simple and complex; simple carbohydrates are shorter, easier to break down and consist of sugary foods such as fructose and lactose found in fruit and dairy. Complex carbohydrates are longer, starchier foods such as potatoes, wholegrain foods etc. 

The not so good 

In terms of your health and which ones you should be keeping to a minimum, the simple, sugary carbohydrates can cause harm if consumed in large amounts. High sugar carbohydrates have a high glycemic index, meaning they raise your blood sugar levels quickly, if this happens often and you aren't exercising enough then your body can't balance the sugar levels which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrates such as white bread, chocolate, sweets, pastries are all high calorie, low nutrient so they don't provide much for your body, they also don't fill you up, therefore you just end up eating more. Furthermore, these types of foods are normally processed and are full of other sorts of crap that aren't doing you any good. Basically, if it's processed then it's probably not good for you. 

But then what about fruit? Fruits can be high sugar foods so are they bad? Well no, fruit is also full of fibre which means that it helps to slow down the sugar spike and keeps you feeling full. The thing is too, our body needs sugar for energy, when you're about to do a workout it's good to have a piece of fruit to give you that extra boost. The issue arises when you are eating too much sugar and not doing the exercise to burn it off. 

The goodies 

So, which carbohydrates are good for us? The starchy carbs tend to be better as they are full of fibre, don't spike your blood sugar levels and slowly release energy throughout the day. Eating wholegrains like brown rice, wholemeal bread and quinoa are all full of fibre which is great for digestion (helping you poo properly). When you've done an intense workout, your body has used a lot of energy, therefore you need to eat carbohydrates in order to replenish your body, otherwise it will begin to use protein as a source of energy, which you don't want if you're trying to build muscle. Plus, have you ever known anyone on a keto diet ( extremely low carb)? They are moody, get angry very easily and are extremely low in energy, which goes to show the negative way your body reacts when you aren't eating carbohydrates. 

If you've got anymore questions on carbohydrates or nutrition drop me an email or comment. 


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