Ready for a shocking truth? Carbohydrates are not the enemy. Know all of those low-carb and no-carb fad diets that have been floating around? They’re not a good idea. Your body needs a certain amount of carbs each day in order to function properly. They are the body’s main source of energy…so without them, you’ll likely find that you feel rundown and sluggish. So, how can you tell the difference between good carbs and bad carbs?
The key is to understand the difference between the two. There are different types of carbohydrates out there. The first is a complex carbohydrate and the second is a simple carbohydrate. You can remember them like this: complex good, simple bad. Those simple carbohydrates are the ones you want to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight. They are full of ingredients like sugar, fructose, and corn syrup. Since these carbs are already broken down and lack important nutrients, vitamins, and energy, your body doesn’t need to do anything to them. That causes the dreaded “sugar crash.”
Some common examples of bad carbs are cookies, potato chips, white bread, baked goods, soft drinks, white rice, and alcoholic beverages. Eating too many of these foods can lead to serious medical issues over time, like an increased risk of developing diabetes. Short term, you’ll probably notice excessive weight gain.
Complex carbohydrates on the other hand, include things like starch and fibre. They are harder for the body to break down – which helps you stay fuller for longer periods of time. They also have more nutrients and vitamins in them, which benefit the body. These carbs can help stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day as well. It is no wonder that dieticians recommend you eat complex carbohydrates rather than simple carbohydrates for good health. Where can you find these good carbohydrates? In things like fresh fruits and vegetables, brown rice, whole wheat breads, pastas, and baked goods, and black beans.
Some tips to help you stay on track with your diet? Always read food labels to check for extra sugar. If you see something that ends with “ose” it is likely a form of sugar – and a bad carbohydrate. In general, it good idea to avoid processed foods altogether. You may also want to try skipping low-fat and low-carb food options as well. Why? They often have more calories from either sugar or fat. Yes, even when you’re trying to eat healthy, you may be ingesting more bad carbs and calories! That is why it is so important to be smart about what you eat. Do your best to eat good carbs every day.
If you’re trying to lose weight, avoiding carbs isn’t the answer. Instead, focus on complex carbs. They ensure that your body is getting what it needs – without totally ruining your healthy lifestyle. Finding a balance will make a huge difference in your weight loss journey.