It’s the most common question I get asked, “do you eat carbs?” Hell yeah is my reply. Life without oats would be no life!
The key is to firstly understand what carbs are, secondly which ones are considered good and bad and finally the best time to consume them.
I hear so many people saying they are on a no carb diet and when I ask them what they eat, I always get the response “lots of veggies and salads.” Errrr they are carbs…
So let me try and break this down simply for you. Carbs are made up of sugars, starch and fibre and are our bodies main source of energy. Our smart bodies break down carbs into glucose for energy or will be saved as fat for later use. The fibre from non starch veggies helps to keep our cells functioning in tip top fashion and provide huge health benefits due to the huge amount of vitamins and minerals that they contain.
When you think bad carbs, think of highly processed foods like refined sugar, white bread, white pasta, cakes, and biscuits. Think good carbs and you are looking at natural, non processed foods like sweet potato, brown rice, brown pasta, wholewheat and wholegrain, quinoa and basmati rice. These are all low GI which basically means you won’t get the sugar spikes you get from the processed foods.
If you are embarking on a fitness regime it is absolutely necessary that you consume carbs before and after a workout when glycogen stores have been depleted.
Some individuals are super carb sensitive, otherwise known as insulin sensitivity caused by one or more intestinal enzymes which prevents the breakdown of carbs. If this is the case, nutritional choices and adjustments would have to be considered.
My personal view is that cutting any particular food group from your diet, unless for medical reasons, is really not the way to a long term, healthy, balanced nutritional plan.
Carbs, the right carbs are a great addition to your diet but as with anything, need to be consumed in moderation and at the right time for optimum benefits.