Evil Carbs……?

Apr 7, 2011   //   by Reflexion   //   Articles, Blog, Nutrition  //  No Comments

 

Many diets make sweeping suggestions about what is good food and what is bad food.

The much talked about “No carb” diets are one example of this. To say to the general community that “carbs are bad” is to greatly simplify the way our bodies work with the food we eat. It’s just not that black and white.

Our bodies require carbohydrates as a predominant fuel source for our daily activities and canĀ  provide essential vitamins,minerals and nutritional value.

However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Two basic types of carbohydrates exist, simple and complex.

 

Complex carbs can be found in foods such as :

  • Wholegrain breads
  • Wholegrain cereals
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

These type of carbohydrates provide a slower release of energy to the body and keep you feeling full for longer.

Simple carbs can be found in :

  • Fruits
  • Milk
  • Vegetables

….as unrefined simple carbohydrates that give a faster energy release while also providing vitamins, nutrients and fiber.

They can also be found in :

  • White bread
  • Biscuits
  • White rice
  • Pastries

….as refined sugars that provide a similar quick hit of energy without the same nutrient benefits. Often referred to as “empty carbs”.

GI ratings have a strong link here and there is much information available on this topic. A food with a high GI rating provides a fast energy release were a low GI rating indicates a slower release.

If you want further information on the GI rating a great site to visit is :

http://www.glycemicindex.com/

Individual energy needs will be greatly variable depending on several factors. A major one being a persons level of activity on any given day. From olympic athletes to gym addicts to an inactive office worker looking to lose weight and everyone in-between, there is a huge variable in each person’s requirements.

My advice is to steer away from categorising foods as good or bad and completely excluding the “Bad” list. Instead look to make better choices that suit you as an individual. Make better use of foods that have higher nutritional value and minimize the use of foods that don’t.

I have provided this overview as my opinion as a qualified Personal Trainer. Nutritional study is a part of this qualification and as such I have an understanding of the principles involved.

If you need detailed help with nutrition and food related advice, I recommend getting in touch with a qualified nutritionist who will be able to provide you with accurate and detailed guidance that will suit you personally.

You may also find a Food and Activity diary a handy tool to use. Feel free to visit the “Downloads” page on this site to download a free copy to use at home.

 

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