Most of us have been misinformed about what carbs really are, and we are eating the wrong types of carbohydrates while avoiding the right ones.
What’s the big deal about carbohydrates, anyway? Is this just the newest fad or are carbs really important to your health?
How do you know good carbs from bad carbs?
Two Types of Carbs
There are two types of carbohydrates:
- Complex carbs: these are “the Good Guys”— they are made in nature, and are disaccharides and polysaccharides (natural sugars). Complex carbs are found in vegetables, greens and fruits.
- Simple carbs: consider these carbs “the Bad Guys”— they are mostly manmade, and are monosaccharides (simple sugars and artificial sweeteners). Simple carbs are found in potatoes, corn, refined grains and grain products, refined pasta, processed foods, baked goods, refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Carbohydrates are the most abundant source of energy found in nature. They are products of plant photosynthesis, which provides the plant’s fuel for life in the form of sugar. When you eat the right kind of carbs, you are eating the plant’s energy, which in turn becomes your own energy.
When you eat the right kind of carbs, you are providing your body with fuel so that you can perform daily activities from thinking about something to walking up a flight of stairs.
Carbs and Weight Gain
What do carbohydrates have to do with weight gain and the artificial sweeteners? Just about everything!
Complex carbs (natural sugars) are bulky and do not easily pass through the intestinal wall into your bloodstream. This means little or no weight gain, and no increase in body fat if food portions are regulated.
That’s why you need to eat your greens, like your Mother told you to!
Simple carbs (manmade sugars) do pass through your intestinal wall into your bloodstream. This means weight gain, increased fat and elevated blood sugar that can lead to diabetes.
Eat fruit and cheese for dessert or breakfast like the Europeans do instead of sugary treats.
If you are eating a balanced diet with reasonably sized portions, carbohydrates should not cause weight gain. But these days we are victims of the “fear of carbs and sugar” fad, and the artificial sweetener manufacturers are taking advantage of this with a marketing frenzy.
With today’s weight-conscious society, fewer calories with every meal seems to be the logical answer to weight loss. But a closer look in the mirror may prove recent statistics are correct: diet sweeteners and low-carbs while you are decreasing calories (needed for fuel for energy), do not control your weight over a long period of time.
Don’t be afraid of good carbs. Yes, if you are diabetic, you need to watch your carbs, but make sure to avoid the man-made, simple carbs, for sure.
And definitely avoid the diet sweeteners.
If you want to learn more about a healthy diet, contact me at janethull.com.
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.
Before taking vitamins, consult your doctor; pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking can affect how your body responds to multivitamins.
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