I hear ALL the time, “I am not eating carbs”, or “I am cutting carbs”. Carbohydrates are one of the biggest misconceptions people have around health and fitness. There are so many fad diets that preach no carbs. Yes, if you completely abstain from carbs, you will lose weight. Guess what, it will all come back, and then some. You’re body needs carbs, it is fueled by carbs. Don’t fall into this gimmick of no carbs. Like everything in life, there is not an easy way out. No magic pill. Instead of dropping carbs all together and labeling them all bad, lets look at what carbs really are, and use that information to make better choices.
There are 2 types of carbohydrates, hopefully this will give you the tools you need to make better “carb” decisions.
Foods that contain simple carbohydrates include table sugar, products with white flour, honey, milk, yogurt, candy, chocolate, fruit, fruit juice, cake, jam, biscuits, molasses, soda and packaged cereals. Despite the fact that simple carbohydrates do not contain enough essential nutrients, some food that fall under this category such as fruits and milk may still be good for you. In addition because of the lack of Simple Carbs digest quickly and make you hungry faster. Diabetics and pre-diabetics should stay away from simple carbs.
Complex carbs act as the body’s fuel and due to their complexity, they take a little longer to digest, they don’t raise the sugar levels in the blood as quickly as simple carbohydrates and keep you full longer. Complex carbohydrates are commonly found in vegetables, whole-meal bread and cereals. Examples of foods that contain complex carbohydrates include spinach, yams, broccoli, beans, zucchini, lentils, skimmed milk, whole grains and many other leguminous plants and vegetables.
Bottom line- Carbs are NOT created equal! Complex Carbs give your body the fuel that it needs to have a good workout and to be full until your next meal. Your body needs these good carbs.