THE DEAL WITH CARBS
THE DEAL WITH CARBS
The idea that "carbs are bad" has left many people confused about carbohydrates and how important they are for our health.
Carbohydrates provide the body with the energy it needs and are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. It's the type, quality and quantity of carbohydrate in our diet that's important.
Your body uses these foods to make glucose, which is your body's main energy source. Glucose is a type of sugar that can be used right away for energy or stored away to be used later.
The best carbohydrates are those that contain a lot of fiber, like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These types of carbohydrates take longer to break down into glucose and give you the most nutrients along with your calories.
Refined carbohydrates are sometimes referred to as “bad” carbohydrates.
These are carbohydrates that have been processed to remove parts of the grain and have had sugar added. Common examples of refined or processed carbohydrates are white bread, cakes, and cookies.
If you need to lose weight, you should decrease your calories and increase your physical activity. Choose fiber-rich carbohydrate foods and avoid added sugars. Making healthy carbohydrate choices while reducing calories and increasing physical activity is the healthiest path to weight loss.
Why do we need carbs?
Carbohydrates are important to your health for several reasons.
Carbohydrates should be your body's main source of energy in a healthy, balanced diet.
They're broken down into glucose (sugar) before being absorbed into your blood. The glucose then enters your body's cells with the help of insulin.
Glucose is used by your body for energy, fuelling your activities, whether that's going for a run or simply breathing.
Unused glucose can be converted to glycogen, which is found in the liver and muscles. If more glucose is consumed than can be stored as glycogen, it's converted to fat for long-term storage of energy.
Carbohydrate contains fewer calories gram for gram than fat; 4 calories (4kcal) per gram for carbs and 9 calories (9kcal) per gram for fat.
By replacing fatty, sugary foods and drinks with higher fibre foods, it's more likely you'll reduce the number of calories in your diet. Also, high-fibre foods add bulk to your meal, helping you feel full.
Do carbohydrates make you fat?
Any food can cause weight gain if you eat too much. Whether your diet is high in fat or high in carbohydrates, if you frequently consume more energy than your body uses, you're likely to gain weight.
Gram for gram, carbohydrate contains fewer calories than fat. Wholegrain varieties of starchy foods are good sources of fibre. Foods high in fibre add bulk to your meal and help you to feel full.
But foods high in sugar are often high in calories, and eating these foods too often can contribute to you becoming overweight.
What's the role of carbohydrates in exercise?
Carbohydrates, fat and protein all provide energy, but your muscles rely on carbohydrates as their main source of fuel when you exercise.
Muscles have limited carbohydrate stores (glycogen) and need to be topped up regularly.
A diet that is low in carbohydrates can lead to a lack of energy during exercise, early fatigue and delayed recovery.
Carbohydrates have, over the years, become something that us girls have become scared of consuming. Thinking for some reason that it is the evil ingredient that will make us fat. This is absolutely NOT true! Carbs are essential to our everyday diet. It provides our bodies with the fuel we need.
The important point is that we have to be mindful of the TYPE and QUALITY of the carbs that we consume.
Complex carbs such as quinoa, brown rice and sweet potato are great sources of quality carbs that will give your body the fuel and nutrients to live a healthy, energetic life. They are generally lower in calories and keep you fuller for longer!
Whereas refined carbohydrates are generally higher in calories and do not serve as a source of quality nutrients. Leaving you hungry sooner and causing you to have to eat more, sooner.
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