Are Carbohydrates Good or Bad for Me?
If you search the Internet for no-carb diets you’ll discover reams and reams of diets proclaiming that cutting out carbohydrates is the answer to losing weight.
But by cutting out carbohydrates you deprive yourself of sufficient fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And both your brain and your muscles need carbohydrates as their primary fuel.
So which one’s right? What’s the answer? Both!
It’s found in the definition of carbohydrates. Not all carbs are created equal. (tweet this)
Carbohydrates are sugars that come in 2 main forms – simple and complex. The difference between them is how quickly they’re digested and absorbed along with their chemical structure.
Simple carbohydrates are those high-sugar foods that are the quickest source of energy and rapidly digested. They include table sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, jams, and candy. They raise your blood glucose levels quickly.
Complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber and usually high in vitamins and minerals. They include green vegetables, whole grains, lentils and beans.
Since complex carbohydrates come from plant-based foods, we know that those foods also contain a ton of beneficial nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The fiber in fruit helps slow the digestion of carbs, which is why your blood sugar doesn’t spike as much after eating fiber-filled fruit like it does when you gulp down a soda or candy bar.
So the goal is to reduce your intake of simple carbs while at the same time increasing your intake of complex carbs.