Carbs? do we eat them? do we avoid them? are no carb diets better? Thought I would use a post to shed some light on carbs.
Why we need Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates provide vital energy to the body’s tissues and organs. Carbohydrates are found in a variety of sources: grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and soy. we need carbohydrates to truly be healthy and avoiding proper consumption of carbohydrates can result in deficiencies such as energy loss, ketosis, loss of essential body protein and nutritional deficiencies. Carbohydrates break down in our bodies to create glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy and what our brain requires to function. You know how you see all those funny memes about how crazy people get with no carbs? well- they aren’t that far from the truth. Avoiding any important macronutrient can affect everything from your physical to mental health.
How do we know which carbs to eat?
The answer is simple. You want to make sure that you are choosing whole, naturally occurring, unprocessed, high fiber sources of carbohydrates. They are the most beneficial to total health and for weight loss. Carbohydrates should make up about 25-55% of your daily intake
Lets quickly talk about fiber for a second. Dietary fiber is the part of the plant you cannot digest. Fiber slows down digestion, stabilizes blood sugar and promotes satiety. We need about 25-40grams of fiber a day. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds. Fibre also decreases cholesterol, prevents hearts disease, lowers risk of blood clots, prevents constipation, prevents colon cancer etc.
Carbohydrates you should eat:
- Organic oats or steel cut oats
- Sprouted bread (Sprouted= grains are sprouted before they are baked. Sprouted bread are higher in amino acids, high in fiber and are easier to digest, allowing our bodies to absorb all the nutrients)
- Organic brown rice ( any rice- as long as it’s natural, brown)
- Starchy Vegetables: Sweet Potatoes, root vegetables, squash
- whole Grains ( eg. quinoa, barley, kamut, spelt, teff)
- Vegetables and legumes
- Fruits: berries, apples, and citrus fruits are lower in sugar (except oranges) and high in fiber
Carbohydrates you should Eliminate or Reduce:
- Processed wheats/flours/grains ( Basically anything that is white)
- Simple and artificial sugars (cane sugar, sucralose, aspartame, syrups etc)
A quick note on fruits: Although fruits are high in sugar, they are also high in fiber. So the timing of when we eat fruits and types of fruits we eat plays a vital role in our overall nutrition.
Being healthy is about creating healthy habits, not restrictions. It’s about eating better, not less, making healthier choices that will support a healthy balance of nutrition in your daily diet. If this is your first go at changing your habits to making healthier choices, start slow! Recognize and identify the changes that need to be made, and starts setting goals on how and when you are going to make those changes.
I offer Healthy Eating & Weightloss Coaching, so please email me or click on the “Nutrition & Training” tab for more information or if you have any questions!
Healthier choices, one step at a time, you’ll get there, you got this!