Just like FAT Carbohydrates are NOT your ENEMY, Full stop!!
Along with Protein & Fats carbohydrates make up the 3 macro nutrients found in all foods.
Each macro nutrient creates a different chemical reaction in your body & enables you to do insanely cool things!
Dig into past blogs about Fat, Protein & Micronutrients to give you a complete picture of the world of macro & micronutrients.
But just like fats & proteins, carbs are also not all created equal.
There are two main types of carbs Complex & simple. They are made up of a combination of starch, fibre & sugar.
Complex carbs contain more fibre & starch whereas simple carbs are predominantly sugar.
Think of it like this…
Your body is a campfire & you can fuel it using kindling aka Simple carbs & logs aka Complex carbs.
Kindling burns really quick & is good for starting & re-stoking a fire then to sustain the fire all night you use bigger logs.
It also makes a difference to your fire what type of wood you use & how dry it is. Your body & the types of food you choose work exactly the same.
If you need fast fuel straight away like during an endurance sporting event or half time at a footy game then simple carbs are perfect.
It is almost effortless for the body to break them down & turn them into fuel. But they dont last long (Kindling)
Where can you find them...
fruit juice (Fructose) Dairy (Lactose) Sports drinks, Sugars like; boxed cereals, white bread, refined grains, fizzy drink, brought baked goods, lollies, donuts, etc…
Highly processed refined foods offer little to NO fibre or starch & are nutrient depleted simple carbs. They offer no real nutritional value & will burn up quickly leaving you hungry, sleepy & moody soon after.
If you are not an endurance athlete participating in a demanding event or training schedule or playing a physical sport, most of us have no need for these types of carbs.
One of the dangerous things about simple/refined carbs is they are really addictive!
Sugar triggers a reaction in our brain much like cocaine & nicotine. It can make you feel good, but this is short lived & there lies the danger...You go back for more.
This can then lead to emotional eating & a negative relationship with food. This is without going into the health implications that go alongside consuming foods that our body wasn't designed to eat.
LOVE Complex nutrient dense colourful carbs & leave the man made sugar laden ones out of your beautiful body.
Fruit, although higher in sugar than most complex carb's is very different to a simple carb.
It is a nutritionally balanced power house of goodness. Totally love fruit!
Fruit has tons of FIBRE & that’s what sets it apart from the simple carbs group.
It’s jam packed with epic amounts of micronutrients & it’s freakin delicious! FRUIT IS AWESOME!!!
You should be aiming to consume 2-3 pieces of fruit EVERYDAY
Bananas are like the perfect fuel for almost anything any time. If you need a bit of get up & go bananas should be your go-to.
Not a big banana fan?
An apple has more kick start than a cup of coffee!!
Ultimately slow release, sustaining fuel is what you are looking for & complex carbs will deliver.
As the name implies they are a little more complex in nature & take the body heaps more time to break down.
So bit by bit the fuel slowly becomes available for the body to use.
When you eat complex carbs your blood sugar levels will remain much more stable, keep your mood & energy levels balanced & your brain firing, winning!
You guessed it these guys have loads of starch & fibre & smaller amounts of sugar!!
They will keep you fuller for longer, provide you with more nutrients & be kinder to your digestive system because they are loaded with fibre.
Where to find them...
Higher starch Complex carbs are usually (Not always) a little beige in colour like oats, potato, couscous, barley, pasta, bread, rice...but also include corn
Higher fibre Complex Carbs are usually (but not always) the more colourful variety like broccoli, bananas, carrots, beetroot...but also include quinoa, oats & buckwheat.
Aim to share the love with ALL the complex carbs & eat the ones that YOUR body loves the most.
Now I’m going to share something totally cool that I recently discovered about carbs...
So the way you prepare certain carbs will change how they process in your body. Resistant starch is naturally occurring in some foods like green bananas, oats, beans & legumes. You can then increase the levels in other foods by cooking & then cooling them before you eat them.
Why the fuss about resistant starch? You know that army of bacteria living in your gut that controls all of YOU...They feed on resistant starch! Yep it will make them pretty happy little Vegemite's if you eat more of it.
The other added bonus about this is that is then decreases the actual carbohydrate content that YOU are getting from the food. So a hot freshly eaten potato has MORE caloric value for YOU than a cooked & cooled potato. Essentially your sharing your food with your billions of mates in your gut
Foods to cook & then cool; Potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, pasta, pumpkin…
So next time your cooking rice or pasta cook twice as much & store it in the fridge or freezer all ready for your next meal. Make your mashed potato ahead of time & put it in the fridge to heat up later.
I love cooking LOADS of pumpkin & making pumpkin hummus.
I also use mashed pumpkin as a sauce base for zoodles & I’ve made a few yummy biscuits & cakes (note to self; I must write down the recipes as I go) I’ll share a few here at a later date.
You know those recipes for sweet potato brownies...YEP high in resistant starch.
Potato salad...aha, yep high in resistant starch. Overnight Oats you guessed it, heaven for your gut bacteria & you.
So now you have the knowledge of carbs & how they work don’t be scared of them JUST EAT THEM!!