Today we're discussing the infamous CARBS. Now when you all think of carbs you immediately think of bread, pasta, potatoes and think 'oh they are bad for me', 'I can't eat those', 'they'll make me put on weight'.
Now what if I told you Carbohydrates are one of the most important things your body needs. Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. It uses it for everything you do, breathing, moving, sleeping and yes, in some people's case, exercising. So on those 'no carb diets' how do you get your energy?
This is the bit that will confuse you. Carbohydrates are in much much more than what you expect.
Carbohydrates are in grains, beans, bread, pasta and a whole host of vegetables.
Does that mean Carbohydrates aren't bad for you?
When we say the word carbs, the ones that immediately spring to mind are the infamous carbs. Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. What do they all have in common? Well 1, their colour, and 2, all of them except the potatoes, are highly refined. Which means they do not start out as white. The bread and pasta are refined to remove all the fibre out of the grains, which makes them easier to digest. Without those our body struggles.
So how do you know where to get your carbs from if it's not these places? Try this list:
- leafy greens have the lowest amount of carbs out of the vegetables, this is your spinach and kale
- anything with a stem or flower is next up on the list. Broccoli, mushroom, artichokes and cauliflower all fall into this category
- the fruit of the plant are next up on the list. This includes anything with seeds in them. Aubergine, squash, peppers and avocado.
- highest on the list are root vegetables. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam and other starchy vegetables
Now what that means practically, check out the steps below:
- Reduce the amount of refined carbs you eat day to day. Find alternatives. Wholegrain rice instead of white rice, wholegrain bread instead of white and sweet potato instead of white potatoes.
- Bulk up on vegetables. Eating enough of the good vegetables in their natural forms will mean you still get the carbohydrates you need but with all the extra vitamins and minerals that natural, whole foods will give you.
- You can still eat white carbs, but my rule is you need to earn them. When you've done intense, high energy exercise your body will benefit hugely from an instant shot of carbs and the refined carbs can give it. Eating white carbs straight after intense exercise will give your muscles back the energy they have burnt, much quicker than it would do naturally and will reduce the amount of pains and aches you will feel the day after exercising.
So carbs aren't all that bad, you just need to understand them and know them properly and they can be added to your diet. Remember, the key to eating well is to understand your food, understand your body and use them both together effectively.
Ciao for now x