We hear a lot about carbs. We joke about how delicious they are; we moan about eating too many. But what's the real story?
Carbohydrates are one of three foods that give your body energy, alongside protein and fats. Together, these elements provide fuel your body uses to build and repair itself. Carbohydrates break down into glucose (sugar) that the body can use right away.
Good Carbs Provide the Glucose Our Body Runs on
Your body runs on glucose, and your brain must have it to function properly. So, good carbs are an important part of your diet and an instant source of fuel.
Good sources of carbs include berries, vegetables, and whole grains. Whole grains in particular are packed with vitamins, fiber, and anti-oxidants that are important for good health. They also provide fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin B, folate and zinc.
Fruits and starchy veggies have some of those nutrients as well, plus phytonutrients (flavonoids – carotenoids), which may help fight certain diseases.
Avoid Simple Carbohydrates
Sugar, is a pure form of a simple carb. These carbs are especially easy for the body to break down. Unfortunately, they raise blood sugar extremely fast. Simple carbs include pastries, desserts, and most of the other unhealthy treats we sometimes crave.
String together an abundance of simple carbs and you get these larger molecules. Your body must break them down into simple carbs, and then to glucose to use them for energy. Your blood sugar goes up much more slowly, and it's less likely to convert to fat. Complex carbs include pasta, potatoes, beans, and multi grain breads.
How Many Carbs Does Your Body Need?
There isn't one size fits all when it comes to carbs. There are variables to consider, such as age, gender, size, and amount of daily activity. A general rule for the average person is ½ of daily caloric intake should be from fruits, veggies, grains, beans, and dairy.
Our advice? Go with the health carbs and not the simple ones. STAY HEALTHY!