What You Need To Know About Carbs

What You Need To Know About Carbs


There is a lot of perplexity around carbohydrates. In a society where the word carbs have been associated with the devil, there needs to be some clarity. Carbs do not make you gain body fat, eating too many calorie does. That being said there are some carbs that are theoretically better for your body than others. All carbohydrates fall under two categories: simple and complex. Within both categories there are choices that can be made for some carbs that are better and worse for you and your blood sugar levels. Understanding the difference between sources can help you create balance in your diet to remain sustainable while allowing you to keep your blood sugars where you want them. 



Simple carbs (sometimes referred to as simple sugars) are just that, simple. Because they are made up of only one or two sugar molecules it takes very little effort for the body to break them down. This isn’t always a bad thing when we need energy quickly that will immediately be utilized, it only becomes a problem when the energy is not used. Due to the ease and incredibly rapid rate that simple carbs can be absorbed into the system intake should be monitored because they have the ability to cause drastic spikes in blood glucose levels or insulin spikes. Energy that we do not use gets stored and can be detrimental for your weight loss goals. With simple carbs, it is far easier to not be satiated after a large portion. What you must remember: simple carbs are not bad if used properly. The best time to eat simple carbs is either during, immediately before or immediately after a training session.


complex carbs


Complex carbs (also known as starches) are longer chains of sugar molecules. Because the chain is longer it is more difficult for our bodies to digest them resulting in huge spikes in blood glucose levels. Because of this they provide a more steady and stable source of energy to fill the body. Like simple carbs where there is a time and place to incorporate them into the diet, the majority of carbs in your diet should be based around the time you workout. Complex carbs are also usually a good source of dietary fiber which is another component that slows the absorption process and keeps you feeling full.

The best sources of any carbs are the least processed and least refined. Refined products particularly grains lose the majority of their fiber and unless they are enriched (vitamins and minerals added back in after processing) they lack a huge portion of their micro nutrient profile.

Some good examples of healthy carb sources:

⁃ Brown rice


⁃ Barley

⁃ Bulgar

⁃ Oatmeal

⁃ Whole grains

⁃ Sweet potatoes/yams

⁃ Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, etc.)

⁃ Vegetables

⁃ Fruit

carbs are good for you

So carbohydrates can theoretically be your best friend, or your worst enemy. At the end of the day, it’s about where you get your calories from and how much of your macros you are consuming that make a big difference in body composition. You should always take steps to recognize how you are fueling their body and how your body reacts to food. Look at counting macros as a way of teaching your mind about the impact each macronutrient has on your body – and reap all the rewards.




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