Are you afraid of eating carbohydrates? With all the bad media that carbs get these days it’s no wonder if you are! As a generalisation, people seem to be worried about eating carbohydrates because they think sugar automatically means weight gain, mood swings, and all things bad. To some degree that can be true, but the fact of the matter is, that your brain and body must have a steady supply of glucose (the form of sugar that the body breaks carbohydrates down to) to function at its best. When we eat carbohydrates our bodies break them down into sugar and then burn the sugar as fuel for our brain and body. The trick is to learn the difference between a ‘good’ (complex) carb and a ‘bad’ (simple) carb.
I read a great analogy for good and bad carbohydrates the other day and I’d like to share it with you. Think of carbohydrate digestion like a campfire. Complex carbs such as whole grains, starchy vegetables and beans are the good logs -they catch easily and burn steadily for a long time. The bad, simple carbs -think white sugar and white flour based foods – are like dry tinder. When we eat them they flare up quickly and then burn out leaving us with little to run on.
A balanced diet includes carbohydrates with an emphasis on the complex, along with healthy fats and proteins. Those of us who want to be healthy and get in shape and stay there, need to take advantage of all three food groups. So make carbs your friends, but remember, they have to be complex friends!