Carbs are not the enemy!
Many people will follow diets, or nutrition plans that tell you carbohydrates make you fat.
This is rubbish! Excess calories, be it protein, fats, or carbs will make you fat.
Carbohydrates are not bad for you, all you need to do is make sure you are eating the RIGHT carbohydrates and your energy levels will increase, you will be less bloated, you will likely lose weight, and your body will be healthier internally.
How Carbs work
First the science! Carbohydrates are made up from molecules of sugar. The more molecules, or denser they are the lower-gi they are(meaning they take longer to digest/breakdown). The fewer the amount, the higher Gi it is(broken down into bloodstream quicker).
Once broken down they pass into the blood stream.
Now, if they’ve been released steadily (Low-Gi), they will be used for energy purposes(the main job of carbs), and pulled from the blood stream via insulin easily.
However, choose a sugary food source where the blood sugar flows like a waterfall, insulin is released, and excess sugar is mopped up, stored in the liver, muscles and fat cells. Not only does this give an energy spike(lots of blood sugar), but as insulin does it’s job, you get a crash of energy as it’s all swept away. Not been massively active? There’s only one place all this excess sugar is going then…..into fat cells.
Continuous insulin releases via sugary foods, plays havoc with not only energy levels, but fat stores, bodily functions, and health. You will NEVER have a healthy body, or a lean one, if you continue to spike blood sugar levels.
Bad Carbohydrate choices
These are, as per the above, those with Higher-Gi ratings, more refined, processed and closer to sugar. Such foods are;
White breads, bagels, pastries, pastas, cakes, biscuit, sugary sweets, fizzy drinks, cereal bars, chips, takeaway food. “White or beige” products have been bleached, nutrients removed, leaving little more than sugar. Microwave meals as the properties of the food will be altered during the heating process.
Better Carbohydrate choices
Vegetables, fruits (though don’t eat too many due to fruit sugars), wholegrain breads and pastas, brown rice, Spelt products. There also tends to be more fiber in these products which stops the sugar release, keeps you fuller for longer, and long term helps with minimal fat storage.
Eating protein and good fats alongside carbohydrates will also slow the sugar release down into the body, as proteins and fats are denser, and harder to breakdown. Also Replace some carbs with healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds. Yams are a good choice for carbohydrates. They are high in fiber and very dense in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Why Low carb/No Carb diets suck!
During the metabolic process of breaking carbs down for energy, we need water in the body. So the body stores molecules of water alongside the stored carbs, for this process. Therefore, when you minimise carbs or remove them, you are doing the same with stored water….removing or cutting back. This is why on such diets people appear to lose silly amounts of weight initially….it’s stored/not stored water loss.
Also if the body doesn’t receive sufficient carbohydrate, it breaks down muscle and other tissue to produce glucose.
This causes a build-up of waste products called ‘ketones’. This is, known as ‘ketosis’ and is common in people who are starving, suffering from anorexia, insulin-dependent diabetes, or high protein, no/low carb diets.
Ketones makes the blood acidic, in severe cases Ketosis can be fatal, particularly for pregnant women, unborn babies, and for people who have diabetes. An acidic body is one where disease will thrive.
So…..remember carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body, and the bodies organs. We need this, just not in the high sugar capacity most people consume it in. Not only will this cause health implications, but you’ll find you build a great set of love handles and a tummy! Snack on lower-GI options, introduce more protein and good fats and you’ll be on the way to a better body, energy levels and health.