There has been a lot of controversy about carbohydrates and whether or not you should eat them. Well, the bottom line is that you can actually eat carbs, BUT you have to make sure that you are eating the right carbs.
We do need carbs seeing that they are the fuel for our body’s energy production system. But in order to only eat the right carbs, we need to know the difference between them, and know how to use it to our advantage.
What’s the difference between Simple Carbs and Complex Carbs?
- Simple carbs break down very quickly into sugar, which means that they give you instant high levels of energy. Unfortunately, they also cause your sugar and energy levels to crash just as quickly. Stay away from these carbs!
- Complex carbs take a lot longer to break down, which means they give you sustained energy over a longer period of time, without the nasty crash at the end. These are the carbs you should be eating!
How do I choose the “right” carbs?
Here are 13 helpful hints for making sure you stick to complex carbs, and stay away from simple carbs…
- Read the Label
The nutritional label is your friend. It can help you to easily spot any sugar or simple carbs, which usually includes things like:
As a rule of thumb, the higher up they appear in the ingredients list, the more added sugar the food has.
- Avoid ALL simple carbs?
While the easy answer would be “yes”, it is not that simple. While most processed foods that contain unhealthy refined carbs can be relatively easy to spot and to exclude from your diet, some healthy foods also contain natural forms of refined sugar. An example of this is the lactose, which is milk sugar, which is found in dairy.
- Pick Whole-Grain Bread
White bread and certain brown breads are filled with refined carbs. Even though many breads claim they are high in fibre and are healthy for you, you should rather opt for whole-grain breads made out of barley, oats, whole wheat, and rye.
- The Truth About Fruit
Yes, fruit does contain simple carbs. But because they contain so much dietary fibre, it balances out. The fibre helps the body process the sugar more slowly, so it does not cause such big sugar spikes. However, you should not eat too many fruits, and also try and stay away from fruit juices as these usually don’t have enough fibre in them to help counter the effect of the sugar.
- Don’t Forget to Watch What You Drink
We often only look at what we eat, and neglect the carbs and sugar in the drinks we dink. These can easily add up as they can be jam-packed with refined sugar, and are usually empty calories.
Alcoholic beverages are also usually quite high in sugar, as alcohol is in essence a form of sugar. When you do go out for drinks, make sure to keep moderation in mind.
- Autumn Foods
Certain foods that are often associated with fall, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and squash, are great sources of complex carbohydrates.
- Beware of Sweeteners
Although you might only put a few teaspoons of sweetener into your coffee or tea, or just sprinkle a light layer of sugar onto your porridge in the morning, these can add up. Brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, honey, and even things like agave nectar are all sources of simple carbs.
- Add Some Beans
Kidney, white, black, garbanzo, and pinto beans are all good sources of fibre and complex carbs. Other good sources of these are lentils and split peas.
- Popcorn: A Healthy Treat?
Many people assume that popcorn is unhealthy, but the truth is that it is a whole grain and thus a good complex carb. However, make sure it is air-popped popcorn and not those with added salt and fat like you get at the movie theater.
- Exotic Grains
Who said healthy food has to mean boring food? Try some interesting whole grains like quinoa, millet bulgur, and triticale.
- The Right Rice
Not all rice is unhealthy; in fact, brown rice is classed as a whole grain and is loaded with fibre. White rice, on the other hand, can be very unhealthy as it is a refined carbohydrate.
- Slow down the Carbs
Whatever types of carbs you eat, slowing down the uptake of energy (glucose) from the food to the bloodstream will help you to have more energy for longer and also help to control your blood sugar levels. Take the Manna Blood Sugar Support supplement with each meal, no matter what you eat, because this product will help to slow release the energy of the food and therefore help to curb cravings and suppress appetite.