Are carbs friend or foe? This blog post is your definitive guide to carbs and answers, once and for all, the perennial question of whether you should eat or avoid carbs in your quest towards healthy weight loss.
Carbohydrates, as a food group, has received a lot of bad rap. It has been vilified for a host of things: from preventing effective weight loss and encouraging weight gain, to causing diseases and obesity. The traditional food pyramid, which has carbohydrates at its base, has been said to promote unhealthy eating, as we are supposed to eat more protein and veg and less carbs for good health. Carbs are bad, right?
Refined vs Unrefined Carbs
The simple answer, is: no. Not all carbs are bad. You may have already been told that staying away from carbs like white rice, white bread, noodles, pasta and potatoes, is the key to successful weight loss. And this is true, because all these are refined carbs, which are broken down by the body into simple sugars. This results in two negative things; (1) you get hungry too quickly after your meal and you snack excessively, and (2) the sugars are converted into fat and your body stores these for burning when you have a calorie deficit.
BUT, you may have overlooked another group of carbs that are as addictive, with none of the bad effects: refined carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are made up of longer chains of nutrients and sugars, which takes a longer time for the body to process and contributes to you feeling full for longer. The sugars are also released at a more consistent rate throughout the day, so your body is provided with a more constant energy source.
Foods that are made up of complex, unrefined carbohydrates also typically have more vitamins, fibre, and minerals than their simple and more refined counterparts.
So what are the carbs you should eat more of then? Brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bread, sweet potatoes, oats and quinoa.
But, are carbs really necessary?
If you are still unconvinced and think that it is better to be safe than sorry, by opting to completely cut out carbs from your diet so as to guarantee weight loss, you’ll want to read this next section.
Carbs are good for weight loss and can also help prevent diabetes. The good carbs, that is, which are complex carbs full in resistant starches.
Foods rich in complex carbs are excellent appetite-suppressants. Even more so than protein or fat. That’s because such carbs take longer to be digested by your body, keeping you full longer.
Eating more carbs rich in resistant starch helps boost your metabolism too. As resistant starches are broken down by the body, a special fatty acid that encourages burning of fats in your belly is released. Yes ladies, you read that right: eating the right sort of carbs helps burn belly fat!
Unrefined carbs that have a high resistant starch content also helps keep diabetes away by controlling your blood sugar level and keeping it constant. The trick is in eating more than one type of carbs per sitting – so brown rice and corn, for instance. This is because each type of carb is metabolised at a different rate, so eating more than one type of carb helps stagger the rate at which the sugars are released into your bloodstream, thus preventing high spikes and crashes. This ultimately controls insulin production and response rates, both important factors in staving off diabetes.
So, are you now convinced that carbs are not all as bad as they are said to be? Seek out the right carbs and you’ll never look at carbs the same way again! Combine your efforts with our products and treatments for maximum result, check out our full menu here.