There are many myths surrounding carbohydrates. More often than not people believe that carbs are evil and cutting them out is the only way to lose weight. This is simply untrue.
You need carbohydrates in your diet for maximum energy, without them your body will not have the fuel it needs to run for an entire day. Your brain is also almost entirely fuelled by carbohydrates, so eating them is very important.
So why are carbohydrates considered to be bad? Carbohydrates are broken down by your digestive system into sugars, which are released into your bloodstream over time to give you energy. The main storage area in your body for carbohydrates is in muscle cells, however when these cells are full any excess carbohydrates can easily convert into fat if they aren’t worked off.
Some carbohydrates cause a faster spike in your blood sugar level than others, which can lead to weight gain, mood and energy swings, Type Two diabetes, and heart disease if consumed too regularly. These are known as fast carbs or high Glycemic Index (GI) foods and should be avoided if possible:
- White bread
- White rice
- White potato
- Most cereals
- Chocolate and lollies.
On the other hand, low GI carbohydrates, also known as slow or complex carbohydrates, contain high levels of fibre, which help to regulate the release of sugar into the blood stream. This helps to minimize insulin issues, improving energy and weight loss. The best complex carbs to eat in moderation are:
- Brown rice
- Whole grain bread
- Buckwheat (pasta or bread)
- Sweet potato
- Rolled whole grain oats
- Starchy vegetables
Don’t be scared of carbs. The trick is to incorporate a moderate amount of good, low GI carbohydrates into your diet.
What is your favourite way to consume complex carbohydrates?