The Carb Conundrum

wholegrainbrownriceGood carbs, bad carbs, complex carbs, simple carbs, high carb, low carb, no carb. 

Got it? 

Yeah, you’re not alone!

Most people still feel like carbohydrates are the enemy when it comes to losing weight and living a healthy life. Most fad diets today are leaning in this direction, yet carbohydrates, themselves, are not the problem. It’s what the food industry has done to them that matters. 

What do you think of when you hear the word carbohydrate? Twinkie? Your favorite smooshy white loaf of bread? Donuts? Mac n Cheese? Spaghetti? French fries? 

This is where the problem lies. These processed food like substances are not nature’s version of a carbohydrate. As I discuss in my book, Lessons for MomPositive Living, the whole is always greater than the sum of its’ parts. When carbohydrates like wheat, oats, and rice are processed and refined, the hull of the plants are removed, (or broken down so much that they don’t offer the benefit of being intact) leaving behind a simple starchy nutrient-less epicenter. This, lovely little offering that is amass in our food supply, turns into sugar very quickly – with little to no return in energy or nutrient benefit for our body. All this quick sugar, if not used immediately – GETS STORED AS FAT. 

You see, carbohydrates are one of the three key macronutrients, you might recall from a junior high or high school science class that we need all three – protein, fats, and carbohydrates – in order to get all the nutrients and energy forms we need as human beings. Carbohydrates in scientific jargon are: “any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including sugars, starch, and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water (2:1) and typically can be broken down to release energy in the animal body.” (Dictionary version) Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy and include foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. To meet the body’s nutritional needs, 45 – 65% of your daily caloric intake should come from these forms of carbohydrates. (While 20 – 35% should come from fat, and 10 – 35% from protein)

By including natural whole sources of carbohydrates, you are benefiting from the natural fiber that is present which reduces your risk of a variety of diseases such as heart disease and colon cancer. Choosing carbohydrates in their most natural form also offers energy without spiking and dropping blood sugar, which means they offer a more sustainable and healthful form of energy than refined and simple sugars offer. Because of the energy required to break these foods down in our digestive tract and the length of time it takes, the chances of storing fat from the energy provided is greatly reduced. (You’ll be using it as it’s provided.)

Let’s see if I can break this down a little further. 

Donuts, pasta, bread = refined/processed carbohydrates – The Real Enemy

Brown rice, Quinoa, Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Squash = Super Heroes. 

I recently wrote an article for Organic Lifestyle Magazine featuring a recipe for roasted squash. I think you’ll love it! It’s super easy and super tasty! 

Check it out here: ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Do you have a favorite squash recipe? Share it here in the comments below!

http://www.cnn.com/FOOD/resources/food.for.thought/explainers/carbohydrate.facts.html

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/carbohydrates

http://www.yourdictionary.com/carbohydrate

 

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In Vibrant Health & Happiness,
Tammi Hoerner, Head Positive Mom
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