One of the biggest misconceptions is that carbs are bad for you. Carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation over the years; and are often labeled as the macronutrient that causes weight gain, diabetes, and other diseases. However, your body depends on healthy carbs to function properly.
Let’s start by discussing the types of carbohydrates and their role in the body.
There are three types of carbohydrates. The first two, sugars and starches, provide your body with energy. Sugars are quickly broken down into glucose, providing energy to your brain and nervous system. Starches provide your body energy, essential vitamins and minerals, and fiber to help you feel full.
The third type of carbohydrate is fiber. Fiber helps remove digestive waste from your body, lowers cholesterol, and keeps your blood sugar stable. Most Americans are insufficient in fiber, with only 7% getting the recommended fiber intake. Getting enough fiber requires eating enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains….also known as carbs!
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of carbohydrates and how necessary they are to your body; let’s talk about how to reap the benefits of eating them.
First It’s important to choose the right carbohydrates. Eating carbohydrates from unprocessed whole foods such as; fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are nutrient dense and packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
When carbohydrates are labeled as “bad,” typically this is in reference to processed carbohydrates. Processed carbohydrates have been stripped of important nutrients and fiber and often have sugar added. Without fiber, the glucose is quickly released into your blood stream, causing excess glucose that gets stored as fat.
Now that we know the right type of carbohydrates to eat; it’s important to know when to eat them each day. Try to enjoy your healthy carbs in the morning and early afternoon. Your body has the ability to burn through the energy that carbs provide throughout the day, when it’s most active. Your metabolism tends to slow down when you sleep; so it’s important to fuel up on protein and greens for dinner. Save your healthy carbs for the next day!
I hope this post helped you realize that carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation over the years and are actually fuel for your body to function at it’s best!