Carbs! Say What!????
So right now, you read my title and you think “No! Carbs are the enemy!” Well, I am here to tell you, that I personally think, this is simply not true. Now this is my personal opinion, and there is probably a keto person out there who wants to slap me in the face as I write this. There are many many many diets out there that are carb restricting. Which to a certain degree can work great for some, but not all. And from what I’ve seen in the medical office, these diets are not sustainable for most. If you haven’t already heard me say this before I’ll say it again, I want to emphasize that everyone is completely different, and no one diet will fit every single person’s needs. With that being said, I do believe there is a healthy balance to carb intake. There is quite a variety of carbs to choose from. I will go as far as to say that high carb, processed junk food- WILL NEVER BE HEALTHY TO EAT! But WHOLE foods that are higher in carbs and fiber can have an extreme advantage and nutritious benefits.
Now what do I mean by whole food carbs? Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Steel Cut Oats are all great examples of whole grains. Buy them in bulk, they keep for a very long time. Sweet potatoes, red potatoes, legumes are some other great examples. Brown rice, quinoa, amaranth are some others too. Of course vegetables are a source of carbs as well.
White bread, donuts, bagels, Cheetos, potato chips, Cheez-its are not what I’m talking about here. Crackers, chips and breads that say “whole wheat” are not necessarily what I’m talking about either. Make sure you read labels. If it has a bunch of ingredients that seem unnecessary or you can’t even pronounce… skip it. If it's heavily processed... skip it.
What are some of the benefits of carbs you ask?
Gives you energy- Now again this depends on the type of person you are, but for most carbs will you energy for your mind and body. Yes carbs are absorbed and broken down in the body to glucose- but if you eat the right carbs, high in fiber- they will be absorbed slowly so you don’t have a giant insulin spike with your consumption. And we do need glucose to survive. Did you know that glucose is pretty much the only thing your brain will function off of? Your brain consumes about 60% of the glucose you ingest. Pretty cool right? Hence why some people get foggy brained- when they restrict carbs too much.
Great source of fiber- soluble and insoluble fiber are both important. Soluble fiber means that it dissolves in water- this type of fiber helps lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugars. Examples are fruits, barley, psyllium, beans, oats. Insoluble fiber gives you healthy poops. :) Examples of this are potatoes, nuts, beans, wheat.
Help you feel full- the fiber in the carbs you eat will give you the feeling of satiation. This can help you feel full sooner and be satisfied longer between meals. Overall, this may actually help you lose weight by keeping your caloric intake at an appropriate level.
Hopefully this helps you have a new outlook on carbs. If you stick to whole foods in all situations, proteins, fats, or carbs there is a healthy balance to them all!