Low Carb? No Carb? Low Fat? High Fat? No fat? What about protein?
There are SO many opposing ideas as to how we should eat out there, it can be so overwhelming. Sometimes it just feels much easier to sit down and eat a chocolate bar right? Right. But, don’t do that…very often at least.
I’m gonna leave protein and fat for a bit, as they will each get a post all on their own (stay tuned!) Today, I want to discuss my philosophy on carbs. This might get a little scienc-y and more boring than normal, but bear with me. It’s in the name of learning guys, and sometimes we need to use our brains. At least that’s what I’m told.
Okay, let’s break ‘er down. I think it’s no secret we are supposed to chose whole grain and unprocessed carbohydrates over their not-so-healthy refined counterparts. Some people still are a bit unsure of what these healthy carbs are, so here is a pretty good list for you, although I am sure that I am missing some:
Sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, cous cous, lentils, winter squash, bulgur, farina, oatmeal, carrots, bran, corn, peas, whole wheat noodles and brown rice noodles.
Pick any of these guys and you can feel super good about nourishing your body. However, instead of me just telling you eat these with no rhyme or reason, lets talk about the actual purpose behind choosing whole grains.
First off, to put it bluntly, processed carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, cookies etc) are nutritionally equivalent to a marshmallow. So, that means….ZERO nutritive value what so ever. Even if that was the only reason to not eat them regularly, I feel like that is a pretty good one. Processing and refining these things completely removes the wholesome, nourishing parts of the food our bodies need. However, the main reason it’s best to severely limit refined carbs is because of what they do to your insulin levels. Processed carbs are loaded with sugar, and sugar spikes your insulin levels. When your insulin levels get spiked quickly and rapidly, your body goes into “fat storage” mode. As the name says, this makes your body prone to fat storage. Additionally, insulin spikes make you more hungry. So, now, your body is storing things as fat WHILE you are wanting to eat more. Bad combo right? Right.
This does not happen with our friends the whole grain carbohydrates. As mentioned, they are not processed, so they retain all the good-for-you minerals and vitamins that our bodies crave. They also do not spike our insulin levels. When you eat nourishing, whole grains, you maintain steady insuling levels which helps you stay fuller for longer, and not store fat. That, my friends, is what I call a win.
Now you know what types of carbs to eat and why, yay! Stay tuned for Part 2 of the breakdown of carbohydrates, where I will tell you when is the optimal time to include these in your diet!