Ok, carbohydrates, very important topic, it can sound complicated, but I will make it easy for you. Carbohydrates are often pointed out as the enemy, and they usually are. For example, in fat loss, excess of carbs is automatically turned into fat and stored in the body fat cells. For endurance athletes, it is different as carbs are one of the main sources of energy. But, there are good carbs, and bad carbs.
How to choose and make the difference? Well it is pretty easy.
- Good carbohydrates – most commonly called complex carbs, are longer to digest due to their complex structure and higher fiber content, and release energy slower and for longer in the body. They are the natural products, and the ones filled with other essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Good carbs are brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeals, whole grains, fruit and vegetables, beans and natural sugars.
- Bad carbohydrates – well they are simply sugar, the one that gets released in our bodies and blood stream very quickly, and if not used straight away by the body, will turn into fat. They are usually processed foods and, as seen previously, and will contain no other nutrients, vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. They also cause spikes of sugars in the blood, and high insulin levels, like a drug, first a sugar rush, and then a come-down with withdrawal symptoms, and that’s why, along with the sweet taste, sugar is so addictive! Bad carbs are all refined products, white bread, pasta, white rice, cereal, cakes, sweets, soft drinks, etc.
The best way to remember is to stick to the golden rule, if it has been processed or industrially made, or if it doesn’t look the same in your plate as it did before it was turned into food, then it is not good for your health.
This is when you want to start looking at the labels of the foods you buy and not let all marketing tools and packaging logos put ideas into your head. Use your head instead. For example, you are going shopping, you see some cereal bars made from whole grains with extra fruit filling, said to have slow release energy and containing plenty of fiber. So healthy or not healthy? What you read on the packaging is telling you it is good for your health, with plenty of what you need in terms of fiber, possibly low-fat and containing ‘real’ fruit. But what does your body say? Is the product processed? Yes. Is it industrially made? Yes. Look no further. Look at the sugar content. Even if it contains real oats and whole grain cereal, the content of added sugars added to the fruit to make it consumable for longer is still high – sugars I may add, you don’t need! Not to mention the added preservatives and other chemicals and possible trans-fats.
Don’t be fooled by what the marketing companies are trying to put in your heads, use your own brain instead and your knowledge to know what is good for you and what is not. The reason why all those products sell is because the majority of the population is uneducated when it comes to health and nutrition, therefore easy to manipulate and brain-wash, and because it brings billions of £££ to the economy. They make you buy the cr@p foods they produce by telling you they are good and healthy for you, but they are only after the profit and the billions of £££ you will bring if the products sell. Products – should I remind you – that lead to poor health, illnesses and diseases. Yes they are poison, but poison with a ‘healthy shiny’ label on them….