How many of you are scared of carbohydrates? Tried keto? Scared of pizza? I’ve been there, but let me tell you, carbs are NOT the enemy. Carbs provide energy and are an essential part of our daily food intake!
Carbs Provide Energy
First of all, when looking at carbohydrates, you have to understand that carbs provide energy for our bodies to function. We need carbs to live.
People are so hung up on trends like the keto diet which demonizes carbs, that they misuse or misunderstand the types of carbs we should be eating for energy.
I want you to first understand that carbs are an essential macronutrient for our bodies because they provide energy and calories, and we will dig deeper into types of carbs and benefits of them.
Two Types of Carbs
People often associate carbs to only pasta, bread, cookies, potatoes, and other starchy things. Truth is, you are probably eating way more carbs than you even realize, because fruits and veggies are carbohydrates too!
Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly, and as a result, sends glucose into the bloodstream at a faster rate. These types of carbs are usually processed, sugary, refined, and do not have much nutritional value for overall health. However, some natural foods like certain fruits can also be considered a simple carb because they break down at a faster rate as well.
Simple carbs include table sugar/added sugars, juices, cookies and other desserts, soda, cereal, white bread, and ice cream. These are typically the kinds of bad carbs we want to limit our intake of.
Some fruits, like bananas, are sometimes considered simple carbs because they also contain starch. However, they also contain fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals, so I would continue eating fruit in your everyday diet.
Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and provide more of a stable source of energy than simple carbs. This is because complex carbs are made up of longer chains of sugar molecules that take longer to convert into glucose in the body, thus providing more energy over a longer period of time. Complex carbs are considered more nutrient-dense and should play a huge role in your daily food intake.
Complex carbs include foods like oatmeal, quinoa, beans and other legumes, fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
These types of foods are essential for long-lasting energy.
Complex Carbs Provide Fiber
One major benefit of complex carbohydrates is that it contains fiber, which is the part of plant-based foods that the body cannot break down and digest.
Fiber plays a huge role in gut health, and moves through the body to keep your digestive system clean. Fiber also helps lower the risk of heart disease, stoke, diabetes, and other gut issues.
The daily recommended intake of fiber is at least 25g a day. Most people who come to me usually get around 5-8g of fiber a day, which is terrible and usually why they feel so bloated or constipated (TMI but true.)
Nutrition Breakdown: Every BODY is Different
Carbs provide 4 calories per gram. So if you have 10g of carbs, then that equates to 40 calories.
The standard recommended daily intake for macro ratios is 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein.
Every person is different and may respond differently to macro and calorie numbers.
For me personally, I eat around 300g of carbs when I am maintaining, and around 100g of carbs when I am in a severe deficit. I know the types of carbs my body responds well to. I have treats every now and then, and I also eat a LOT of complex carbs.
I highly recommend downloading the free version of Myfitnesspal app and start tracking your calorie and carb intake if you’re not already! Most people have NO concept of calories and carbs, so this is a huge educational process. You might be ripping yourself off and depriving carbs for no reason!
If you are ready to learn and want an in-depth experience, apply to my coaching HERE and we can get you started on the path to sustainability and happiness, carbs included!