February 16, 2018
Why You Should Be Saying YES To Carbs
There’s a lot of FAD diets out there promoting the elimination of carbohydrates from our diets. We hear they are great for weight loss, so we try it out, see some results but never begin to question what this diet is actually doing INSIDE our bodies and why we are able to lose weight so quickly?
We lose weight from a low carb diet because our bodies are actually just losing fluids through something called ketosis- all we see is our bodies looking and feeling slimmer, whilst inside our kidneys are overworked and under nourished, a prolonged diet like this can lead to female infertility, osteoporosis, heart disease and strokes as it creates a very acidic environment in the body. There are much easier and healthier ways to consume carbs and keep your weight in a perfect balance, so if you’re interested in keeping bread in your diet, read on.
So, a diet rich in carbohydrates is VERY important, to acquire all the nutrients our bodies need to thrive we should be looking at an intake of 45-65% of our total daily calories, but who counts eh?!
When we eat carbs they are converted into glucose (blood sugar) and used as energy for our cells, tissues and organs- with glucose being the preferred energy source for the brain, nervous system and red blood cells. Any extra glucose we may consume is then stored in our powerful organ- the liver- and released whenever our bodies might need that extra boost!
We’re almost conditioned slightly to believe that the consumption of carbs, should be a treat as they are the main cause of weight gain, but that depends entirely on which source you are consuming your carbs from.
They are broken down into 3 main categories- Simple carbs (sugars), Complex carbs (starches) and fiber.
Simple carbs or sugars are in fruits and the not so good sources come from foods such as; candy, cakes, white bread etc- we should always be aiming to get our sugars from a natural/wholesome source, as overconsumption of refined sugars can lead to insulin resistance, anxiety and heart disease. Instead of ditching the carbs all together- look to feed your body with wholesome and unrefined carbs. Buy your bread in wholegrain or multigrain and aim for as freshly baked as possible, fresh bread won’t have any of the extra refined additives that cause us to bloat.
I recently switched to consuming only fresh bread and the difference has been pretty great on my gut.
Complex carbs or starches are long chains of glucose that are found in potatoes and grains. Two of the BEST and healthy grains you can inject into your diet are;
Oats and quinoa- oats are so rich in anti-oxidants which are an integral part of a healthy immune system, they are great sources of protein, calcium and iron. They make the perfect breakfast, providing you with energy and fullness that lasts until lunch time… and whoever says oats are boring has never had overnight oats!
Quinoa is an absolute powerhouse and should be a huge staple in everyone’s diet- it’s a complete protein, containing ALL 8 essential amino acids and it has high levels of unsaturated fats (which can actually promote weight loss)
If it’s weight loss you’re looking for, try switching any refined grains for these two! White rice or pasta can easily be supplemented with quinoa for meals whilst oats make a great alternative to cereals, that are usually packed with hidden preservatives and refined sugars.
And of course fiber. Fiber is categorised as a carbohydrate but it does not act like one, it’s has zero calories, balances blood sugars and promotes satiety (the feeling of fullness) There are two types of fiber- soluble and insoluble- it is recommended that we try and keep a good balance of the two. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and controls blood sugar, whilst insoluble fiber helps with the feeling of fullness and promotes regular bowel movement. The balance is important here because too much of soluble fiber can have the opposite affect for our bowels because it will absorb most of the water in the colon.
Soluble fiber is found in oats, beans, lentils, chia seeds etc whilst we can find insoluble fiber in wholegrain foods and the skins of vegetables- Flax seeds have the perfect balance of the two- so add a sprinkle on the top of your meals, if your bowels are ever feeling out of balance (that’s what I do!)
So as it is clear to see, our body absolutely craves carbs- I know I used to immediately think carbs was bread, pastries and all those glutinous items, alas they are SO much more- they are readily available in a lot of natural sources, so it’s a balancing act of finding the right ones. It’s not to say that you can’t have a sugary snack or treat now and again but just be aware of the overconsumption and of course say no to these fad diets of ‘No carbs before marbs’
It’s time to create a healthier relationship with our carb intake and to not be afraid of consuming. After all, beauty is skin deep.