Question Time… I get asked this a lot!
Are Carbs Bad for you?
In simple terms no, they just have a bad rep. They are not evil and consuming them will not make you fat.
It’s suggested that you should eat between 45-60% healthy carbs in your diet. But this could differ depending on your goals.
Carbs are a source of energy just like fat and protein. In fact carbs have the same amount of calories per gram as protein… 4 yes 4 calories per gram. Fat on the other hand has 9 calories per gram.
So what do carbs do?
They’re the main source of energy for the body, your body turns carbs into glucose or blood sugar and your body needs glucose to do everything from brain function, to breathing to walking and training. But too many carbs or the wrong carbs can cause high bloody sugar levels and slowly erode the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin and long term damage can include diabetes and hardening of blood vessels.
So why do carbs have a bad rep? The difference beween carbs…
The type of carb you eat will have different reactions in the body. For example healthy carbs like vegetables, wholewheat, legumes, grains and whole fruit take longer to break down in the body, which means your appetite is curbed for longer and these give you good energy for a workout. They also promote healthy digestion, a healthy heart and keep your cholesterol in check. These healthy, fibre rich carbs do not cause a blood sugar spike…
👌If you don’t consume enough carbs you can become weak or lethargic.
👌The only way to get fibre naturally is by eating healthy and complex carbs, fibre is so important for gut health.
👌Women need 25g of fibre per day
Other less healthy (or refined) carbs for example sugar (white bread/ pasta, chocolate, ice cream, doughnuts, cake etc) have barely any or no fibre content and can cause Insulin resistance which is the stepping stone towards Diabetes. These sugars have no nutritional value for your body (no minerals, vitamins, fats or protein) and can be turned into FAT by the liver.
Sugar is broken down quickly in the body and you get a ‘sugar high’ giving your brain a huge surge of dopamine (the feel good factor) and hence you crave this at 3pm rather than carrot sticks!
So what should you do?
You should aim to choose high fibre carbs which take longer to break down by the body and giving you energy for a longer period of time. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have a treat now and then, just make sure it’s not too regular and you don’t get addicted to that dopamine releases post sugary treat consumption.
Remember Carbs do not make you FAT 🙂… You just have to choose the right ones.
Enjoy your carbs, eat well and be happy
P.S. I personally love carbs!