Killer Carbs! Are Carbs Bad For You?
Carbohydrates have a terrible reputation. Everywhere you look, the diet industry is inundated with information about the evil carb. Diet plans have been created specifically to eliminate all consumption of carbohydrates, but are carbs really our enemy?
Today, we will take a look at these macronutrients to determine if they are friends or foes and to find what (if any) carbohydrates we should be consuming regularly.
What is a carbohydrate?
Carbohydrates are found in the foods we eat. They are made up of sugars, starches, and cellulose. They are called carbohydrates because carbs contain a combination of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules when looked at under a microscope.
When eaten, our body converts carbohydrates into sugar. This sugar is our body’s primary source of fuel. For every gram of carbs that we consume, our body receives four calories of energy.
Are carbs bad for you?
There is currently a big misconception regarding the status of carbohydrates. Mainstream media has taught us that carbs are the root of all diseases. Diabetes and heart disease are on the rise, and carbs must be the cause, right?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn't straightforward.
First, it must be understood that there are two main types of carbohydrates: those found in natural, wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Then there are the highly processed carbohydrates which contain refined sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, and other calorically dense sweeteners. In essence, there are good carbs and bad carbs.
When you fuel your body with the right types of carbohydrates, you will thrive. Carbs provide the fuel that your central nervous system needs to function. They keep your energy levels lifted throughout the day and power you through your workouts. Carbs pump your brain full of energy to keep you focused and alert and keep you in a good mood. Plus, eating the right kinds of carbohydrates can help you meet your fitness goals.
Won’t eating carbs make me fat?
If you choose to feed your body the correct type of carbohydrates in the appropriate quantities for your body composition goals, carbs can actually help you get in shape even faster!
If your body doesn't have sufficient energy available to use, it will begin to break down your muscle mass. Your body's first preference for energy is sugar in your bloodstream. If there isn't enough of this to keep your stamina up, it will turn to the next most accessible place to find fuel - your muscles. Your body can quickly and effectively tear down your muscles and use them for fuel, leaving you weak and not as toned and muscular as you would like to be.
In younger populations, this may mean not being as beach-ready as you'd like to be. In older folks, it could lead to a severe condition called sarcopenia, where your muscles waste away.
What foods are high in carbohydrates?
Unfortunately, in today's society, most of the foods we come in contact with are high in carbohydrates. Foods to stay away from include:
● Processed white breads
● Most snack foods
Fortunately, many wholesome foods created by mother nature are rich in healthy carbohydrates. These foods include:
● Sweet Potatoes
● Pasta (especially whole wheat, black bean, or lentil versions)
How should I include carbs in my daily meal plan?
When creating a meal plan, it is essential to remember that carbs are a good servant and a bad master. In moderation, eating wholesome carbohydrates can help give your body the fuel it needs to function optimally. Your weight will remain in check, your concentration and memory abilities will be on-point, and you will have a tremendous amount of energy to power through your busy day and still be able to hit the gym afterward. However, eating the wrong type of carbs in excess will cause you to gain weight. It will keep you feeling tired and sluggish and leave you feeling like you are stuck in a constant fog.
When selecting which carbohydrates to eat, choose those that come from nature and have had as little processing done to them as possible. The number of carbs you should consume will depend on your activity levels and fitness goals. The RDA recommends that most people should aim to get a maximum of 60% of their daily nutrition from carbohydrate sources. Remove as much added sugar from your diet and cut out sweet snacks and treats. Instead, save these for special occasions or celebrations.
As you can see, carbohydrates are not the enemy, despite the bad reputation they have gotten. Carbohydrates are necessary for good health, and our bodies rely on them to function correctly. Just be sure to look for wholesome sources of carbohydrates and fuel your body well with them.
It can be challenging to know exactly how to feed your body. Nutrition is complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Providing you and your family healthy, nutritious meals is simple, especially when you enlist the help of a meal delivery service like Clean Eatz Kitchen. In our kitchen, we prioritize your health and provide delicious meals that help you reach your fitness goals. Grab your fork and dive in with confidence. Whether you are looking to bulk up, gain muscle, or lose fat, at Clean Eatz, we take care of fueling your body so that you can focus on the more important things.