The Facts on Carbs

To eat carbs or not to eat carbs, that is the dilemma for so many trying to lose weight. Avoiding carbohydrates is so popular that diet trends such as Atkins and Paleo have done away with starches and grains in favor of a high protein approach. Instead of thinking all bread and pasta is taboo, focus more on the type of flour and grain that is used.  Wonder Bread, and sprouted wheat are not created equal.

Carbohydrates convert to sugar in the body providing energy, and stamina. If you look at the standard American diet, most carbs come in the form of refined sugar, and flour.  Look at the amount of soda, and processed food consumed and you'll see why obesity and diabetes is on the rise.  Most of these foods contain empty calories, but are high sugar so what happens? We eat more than we should sending blood glucose levels through the roof!

Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and legumes are processed differently because they are high in fiber and take longer to digest  thus providing sustainable energy.  Additionally eating foods lower on the glycemic index  will have a lesser effect on your blood sugar and keep you fuller longer.

Simple carbohydrates are sugar based and are metabolized by the body much faster.   They may provide a temporary boost of energy but will leave you going back for more. Isn't fruit high in sugar?  Well technically yes, but it also contains fiber and minerals to give you a pick me up without the caloric load of a candy bar.

Stop fearing starches by making simple substitutions such as brown rice over white, or choose oatmeal instead of a donut for breakfast.  Concentrate on whole food choices, and skip the processed options that give carbs a bad name.

Adriane Rosenberg