What are carbs anyway?
Carbohydrates are your body’s – and brain’s – primary source of energy, and are a crucial part of healthy eating habits. You shouldn’t be cutting carbs out of your diet altogether, but knowing which carbs are good for you and which are bad is important for weight loss.
Playing good carb/bad carb
Understanding what kind of carbohydrate is good for you makes all the difference to a balanced diet. You get simple/refined, bad carbs and then the complex carbs, which are the good ones.
Complex carbs are the ones we need to function properly. They fuel us with the physical and mental energy that we need to get through the day. These carbs are fruits, whole grains and legumes, roots and tubers, and starchy squashes, that have longer chains of sugar molecules that take more time for the body to use. They keep you feeling fuller for longer, keep your mind sharp and give you a whole lot of energy to burn, but without a nasty sugar crash afterwards.
Sweet, sweet refined carbs
Simple, refined carbs are the ones we often crave to eat. These bad boys are the sugar-laden, processed yumminess that we hear calling our names when we walk past the bakery, and sweets and chocolates sections of our grocery shop. These are the ones that stick on our thighs and make fitting into pants a traumatic experience. But again, they get unfairly judged because we overuse them.
Let them eat cake
When enjoyed in moderation, there is no reason why you can’t have your cupcake and eat it too. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you’re having fresh, healthy foods more often than the processed goodness of a pie. Learning moderation and balance is essential to healthy living and weight loss.
With the popularity of eating plans that shun entire sections of the food pyramid and label them so-called ‘fat makers,’ it is important that you know the difference. Being sensible about what you are eating is only the beginning of this journey and hopefully this gives you a better understanding on what carbs are really like.
Sources: Everyday Nutrition (textbook) and Authoritynutrition.com
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