So what's the deal with carbs? Should you eat them? Should you avoid them after 8 pm? Is fruit bad?Should you be going keto or paleo?
Carbohydrate's are the body's preferred source of energy. Your body wants to run off of carbohydrates and they are constantly needing to be replaced. The body will use protein and fats as energy sources, but only when there is a lack of carbs. Protein is used to repair and restore cells and fat helps with immunity, hormones and brain function. Carbs not only boost your mood and give you energy but they also provide essential nutrients like b-vitamins and magnesium.
Here are a few tips to consider when eating carbohydrates:
1. Choose complex carbs that are high in fibre. Choose starchy carbs like quinoa, brown rice or sweet potatoes. These have longer chains of carbon molecules which take longer to be broken down in the body. When you choose simple carbs (think anything that is white: bread, white rice, pastries, candy etc.) they are more quickly digested and absorbed, leaving you feeling hungry and craving more.
2. When looking at weight loss, low carb is not necessarily better. Weight loss typically comes from a caloric deficit so even if you are eating mostly protein or fat, if you are eating too much you will still hold onto extra weight. Going too low carb can also effect your hormones, put your body in stress mode and lower your metabolism.
3. While sugar is definitely not the devil, you don't want to eat too much, especially the white stuff. Sugar acts as an anti nutrient as it actually pulls nutrients from your body like magnesium in order to be absorbed and utilized. Chose more natural sweeteners like coconut sugar, honey or molasses, all which contain minerals and have a lower impact on blood sugar levels. Just make sure to stick to small amounts.
4. When choosing fruit, try and stick to fruit that contains a lot of fibre such a pears, apples and berries. Fruit contains so many vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health. I definitely don't recommend cutting fruit out of the diet. Typically I stay away from high in sugar fruits such as melons (unless of course it is summer!) and will always have it with some sort of fat to slow down it's absorption and effect on blood sugar levels.
In the end, no matter what kind of carbohydrates you are eating, whether they come from candy or whole wheat bread, they both will eventually be broken down into glucose, which gets stored in the liver and as fat if there is excess. So no, having a few bites of cake isn't going to kill you. Just make sure you balance it out. Half of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates. Choose complex carbs when you can, eat adequate amounts of protein and fats and indulge on occasion. As usual, it's all about balance!
Always here for questions!