CARBS!

Carbohydrates.
What are they?
Why are there two types?
If I cut all of these evil carbs out of my diet, will I magically lose weight, have more energy, feel better and look years younger?

Wait.
Hold on a second.
Can we stop demonizing foods?

Fats were bad, no, now fats are good.
Caffeine was bad, no wait, now caffeine has benefits .
Sugar is poison. But sugar substitutes are even more poisonous!
Gluten, OMG, GLUTEN is the spawn of the devil. Or as one of my favorite t-shirts says;
“Gluten, the new Al-Qaeda”.
And carbs, nope, no carbs. Let’s go keto, lose a ton of weight and enjoy all of the marvelous benefits. What a great new idea!
Anybody remember the South Beach diet? I guess everything old is new again….

….but I digress…

Carbs, oh yeah, that’s right.
Carbohydrates are an essential energy source for the body. Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, are made up of shorter chains of molecules and are quicker to digest than complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates contain longer chains of sugar molecules. The body converts these sugar molecules into glucose, which it uses for energy. As complex carbohydrates have longer chains, they take longer to break down and provide more lasting energy in the body than simple carbohydrates.

Let me repeat.

Carbohydrates are an essential energy source for the body.

I ran an endurance race a while back. A good friend of mine ran the race as well. 16 miles. He finished 2 hours after me. When he finally got to the finish line I asked him if he was alright. He said that maybe the keto diet he was 3 weeks into wasn’t the best choice for this situation.

Carbohydrates are an essential energy source for the body.

So, simple vs complex. Which is better? The answer is…..depends.

What’re you doing? What goal are you trying to accomplish? Or are you just trying to live as well as you can? Let’s take a look at both.

Simple carbohydrates
There are many cases of foods that contain simple carbohydrates that are suitable for a healthful diet. For example, fruits and vegetables contain simple carbohydrates, but they are rich in micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and they contain some dietary fiber.
Milk and milk products contain lactose, which is a type of simple carbohydrate. These foods do not contain fiber but are rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Simple carbohydrates to avoid are typically in processed foods or those with added sugar. Adding sugar to food increases its calorie content, without providing any additional nutrition.
Examples of such foods include: candy, sugary drinks, syrups fruit juice.
Whenever it is possible, you should try to stick to eating whole fruits rather than fruit juice. Whole fruits contain more dietary fiber, vitamins & nutrients and are a better option.

Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates which are found in most whole foods tend to be highly nutritious.
For example, whole-grain foods contain a layer of bran and germ, which provide fiber, vitamin B and E, phytochemicals, and healthful fats.
They may also reduce the risk of several chronic health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several forms of cancer.
Examples of whole grains include: brown rice, barley, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, oats & wild rice. Vegetables, legumes, and nuts are also examples of highly nutritious sources of complex carbohydrates. It is easy to leave the skins on vegetables and fruit before eating, which will increase their nutritional value.

So what’s the verdict? Again, it depends. Carbs are just a single component in any food, so it’s more useful to consider the overall nutritional profile of each food you may want to eat instead of focusing on a single nutrient, such as the type of carbohydrate it contains. And so we’re back to eating a healthy mix of foods and taking into account your age, lifestyle , activity level and what your wellness means to you.
Live your best life.
Know that carbs can be your friend.
I’d talk more about that evil, poisonous, Godless gluten, but that’s a blog for another day.

Talk later,
Bob

2 thoughts on “CARBS!

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