Hello! I hope fall is treating you well and you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Harvest is finished for another year, and we are thankful to have finished before the first blizzard came. I did a poll on Instagram and this topic was most popular over a few other nutrition topics so let’s dig right into A Positive Look at Carbs.
What is a carbohydrate?
A carbohydrate technically speaking is a biomolecule. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. More simply put carbohydrates are sugar molecules. They, along with protein and fat, are one of the 3 main nutrients found in food and drinks.
Your body takes carbohydrates and then breaks them down to glucose (sugar). They are the main source of energy for your body. After your body uses carbs, next it uses protein, then fat, for energy.
Questions to think about:
- Why would you eliminate carbohydrates from your body?
- Do you really plan to spend your whole lifetime avoiding carbs?
- Is it really a sustainable diet?
- Are you sure they aren’t good for you in moderation?
- Are you just doing it because you have heard diet trends that support it?
- Did you study the facts yourself?
Simple vs Complex
Carbohydrates come in two different forms: simple and complex.
Let’s think of simple carbohydrates like giving your body an unwrapped gift while complex carbohydrates are like a beautifully wrapped gift for your body to break down and use for energy. Let’s take a closer look at both.
Simple Carbohydrates are less helpful to your body but can still give you energy. They take less time to break down or “open”, so your body uses it up quickly and then needs more sooner. They are most commonly found in refined foods. Like white flour and candy. Don’t get a bad feeling for simple sugars because they do have their place in your diet. Milk has simple sugars and fits into the simple carbohydrate category. However, milk is full of nutrients that are good for your body and fits well in a balanced diet.
Complex Carbohydrates are “wrapped up” and take longer to break down or “unwrap”. This results in them providing your body with more energy for a longer period. This is a perk because they help keep you fuller longer. You can find complex carbohydrates in whole foods like whole grains, brown rice, and legumes.
Why should I have a good relationship with Carbohydrates?
We don’t want to confuse our metabolism. One of the purposes of metabolism in your body is the conversion of the energy in food to energy your body can use to function. God made our bodies in an amazing way! They know how to take the foods we eat in moderation and use them in the best way for our bodies.
Your job: Eat a balanced diet with moderation in mind. When you tell yourself you can’t have a certain food, it in a way just makes you want it more. Eat a variety of foods but be mindful not to overindulge in any one type. If you need help in eating simple sugars/ sweets in moderation; this is a blog post that can help you.
I hope you will have a better relationship with carbs after reading this. Questions? I’d love to answer them below.
Mariah Nienhuis, NDTR
*Note: This post is intended for the general healthy population. It is not personalized nutrition advice and if you are in need of this please visit with your doctor/health care professional for specific advice. *