Carbohydrates: Not as Evil as You Think

November 29, 2012 Comments Off

By – Kim Wade

You see her eating them, and you can’t believe your eyes. You instantly scream, “No!” How can she look that great and eat carbs? Despite the growing trend to eat protein-packed meals to lose weight, the rumors about carbohydrates are exaggerated and over-hyped.

These misunderstood sources of energy for the body have been blacklisted by dieters for years. But the misconception lies in the fact that most people don’t know the difference between bad carbs and good carbs. You don’t have to abstain from bread and pasta for the rest of your life in order to maintain your weight.

What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates consist of mostly plant-based foods, and they make up the body’s main source of energy. The body can use stored fat for energy, but it prefers carbs. So, if you plan to run a 5k road race, you’re better off stocking up on carbs for energy unless you want to find yourself washed out in the gutters.

But before you stock up on carbs for the big race, make sure you understand which carbohydrates are good for your body and which ones will make you lose energy quickly—and can make you gain weight.

What are good carbohydrates?
Doctors claim that most people don’t understand the difference between good and bad carbohydrates. It boils down to the difference between simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates make up the bad carbs because they are composed of mostly sugar. You can spot these by looking for words that end with “ose” like glucose, lactose, and fructose. These carbs can make you gain weight, and they do little to give you the long-term energy needed to workout.

Most doctors recommend eating complex carbohydrates to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Vegetables, pastas, rice, breads, and beans contain good sources of complex carbohydrates.

But doctors warn against eating complex carbohydrates that contain white flour or white starches. They recommend you eat sweet potatoes rather than white potatoes, and they also suggest eating whole grain breads, brown rice, and whole wheat pastas. These foods are healthier and take longer for the body to digest and process, so you can have more long-term energy from these foods.

How to get the most out of good carbs?
Doctors warn against frying or adding sugar to complex carbohydrates. They also say you should try to skip processed and refined foods altogether. Health professionals recommend reading labels and cutting out foods with added sugar. Ignore the French fries and the canned fruits and vegetables with added sugar, and go straight for the whole grains, fresh fruits, and fresh veggies.

If you aren’t sure what carbs are good for you, just ask your doctor. She can provide you with a list of healthy carbohydrates and a wealth of recipes to feed your body the most efficient and healthy combination of complex carbohydrates.

Now you can say “yes” to carbs and get the energy you need to make it to the finish line of your weight loss goal.

Author Bio – Kim Wade is a freelance writer who writes about motherhood, pop culture, and health.

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