Should You Eat Carbs?


I talk quite a bit about metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.  I have also told you many times before that type 2 diabetes is a disease of carbohydrates meaning it results from eating too many sugary cakes.  Well actually breads and pastas are major contributors also.  As such, it is quite easy for you to think that to feel good and above all, look good you should never eat carbs.

I am going to give you a quick breakdown of what carbs you should eat and what carbs you shouldn’t eat and then I’ll tell you if carbs are actually important or not.

 

What Are Carbohydrates?

Often times you will hear people refer to carbohydrates as sugar.  So that you understand this a little better; carbohydrates are made of a combination of sugar molecules.  By and large when you hear them referred to as sugar people are talking about sugar molecules whose bonds are easily broken down.  The easier it is to break the bond between the molecules the purer the sugar you are ingesting.

This is what people are talking about when they say slowly releasing or fast releasing foods.  Slower releasing foods take longer to breakdown and so provide a steady supply of energy to your body.  Fast releasing foods on the other hand provide an almost instantaneous supply of energy to your body.  These are the foods that make you crash an hour or two later.  Ever have an afternoon slump?  You probably ate some really crappy carbohydrates at lunch.

By and large those foods that are easily broken down are refined carbohydrates which you all know are the bad ones; biscuits, cookies, donuts, muffins, cakes, breads, juices and breakfast cereals.

Of course higher sugar, quick releasing carbs do have their place at specific times of the day more notably around your workout.

Carbs You Should Never Eat

Unfortunately there are large misconceptions as to what carbs are good for you and those that are exactly the opposite.  As discussed in this post regulations in the food industry are almost non-existent.  You are bombarded with foods making outlandish health claims and naturally enough you believe these health claims.  After all, why wouldn’t you?  You should be able to trust your country’s law makers to have your best interest at heart, right?

Wrong unfortunately.  Industry has money behind it.  Money results in influential and powerful acquaintances.  Power and money result in corruption.  When you look at it this way is it any wonder you companies can put health claims on their products without substantiating them.

Perfect examples of these are;

Fruit juices

For the most part these are not made from real fruit.  Rather it is fruit flavoured sugar-water.  These are quite possibly one of the easiest ways to give yourself a massive spike in blood sugar.  Trust me, unless you want to resemble an overgrown pig you should watch out for these.

Yoghurt

Flavoured sugar again.  They are marketed as an excellent source of calcium.  I never knew cows gave off flavoured milk?  Consider the list of other ingredients before you think yoghurt’s are a good source of carbs.  Greek yoghurt is a good option and high in protein to boot.

Breads

Not all bread is created equal.  However, more often than not bread is made from over 40 different ingredients.  Don’t forget that it only takes 3 different ingredients to make bread normally.  Where are the other 37 coming from?  They are coming from an assortment of additives and ingredients you can’t pronounce.  Read a little on bread in this post.

Of course there are some healthier options such as spelt bread, Ezekiel bread and rye bread are examples of these.  However, often times you will find flavoured versions of these breads that contain a lot of extra ingredients no ideal a lean, powerful body.   .

Breakfast cereals

I like to think of these as sugar filled shapes.  I have yet to find a breakfast cereal that doesn’t make a health claim despite having a primary ingredient of sugar among about twenty other ingredients.  Remember, it’s not real food if you don’t know how to pronounce the ingredients or if it has more than a handful of ingredients.  Read more herehere and here.  Breakfast cereals are promoted as a great way to start your day because they are loaded with vitamin this, vitamin that, fibre and other minerals.  In actual fact they are a sure-fire way to have a mid-morning slump, become insulin resistant (type 2 diabetic) and don’t forget obese.

Avoid these.

Energy drinks

I have spoken about these before too.  Energy drinks, specifically lucozade, powerade, gatorade and any other concoction ending in ‘ade’ are for serious athletes.  They are not for you and I.  We have no need for 500mL of sugar, period.  They do have their place with top athletes because they use massive amounts of energy each day and more often than not have top class diets as it is and let’s not forget, they are shredded negating the obesity factor.

Energy drinks are a quick way to make you fat and sick.  Read a post on them here.

 

Carbs That You Should Eat

This section is of course reserved for the slow releasing carbs, these are the ones with difficult to breakdown bonds.  Although I argue that you don’t necessarily need a lot of carbs for life, you can utilise some of these;

Quinoa, Mixed Beans & Oatmeal

Quinoa is an incredibly effective source of nutrients, protein and of course carbohydrates. It is difficult to overeat quinoa and it is highly fibrous meaning it CAN stimulate fat loss.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Sweet Potato

These are a good source of low glycemic load carbohydrates.  Again this just means it will not spike your blood sugar too high.  You can even make sweet potato fries with these, just chop them up and bake.  They are absolutely delicious.

Oatmeal, Fruit, Greek Yoghurt, Nuts

Oatmeal, Fruit, Greek Yoghurt, Nuts

Vegetables

You all know you should eat them and you all know you don’t eat enough.  These are excellent for keeping you feeling full throughout the day, stimulating fat loss and staving off disease.

 

Omellete