Bite it with Britt column: Not all carbohydrates are bad
Bite it with Britt
Carbohydrates get a bad rap lately. “Cutting carbs” is a popular trend in the diet world. Many people are confused about which carbs are bad and which are good and simply eliminate all of them. This diet mistake will rob you of energy, eliminate many nutrients and lead to more fat gain.
Carbohydrates range from candy bars to green vegetables. They are the easiest macronutrient for our bodies to convert to glucose — our preferred form of energy. Good carbs also carry many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber. Cutting all carbohydrates forces our bodies to find these nutrients elsewhere or not at all.
Carbohydrates are needed for energy. A proper amount of them will keep you energized enough to avoid the chemical-lattes and energy drinks that wreak havoc on your hormones. You can’t get through intense workouts, the ones that actually get you in shape, without carbohydrate energy.
Do you ever see athletes cutting carbs? No, they eat everything under the sun.
The low-carb fad has forced us to rely on taking too many supplements and stimulants (caffeine, energy drinks and hidden pieces of candy) for energy.
No wonder so many people are now pre-diabetic. Bad habits, poor nutrition and bad information all lead to metabolic and hormone dysfunction. Diseases like type 2 diabetes are the result of chronic metabolic and hormone dysfunction from too much sugar.
The American Diabetes Association reports as of 2012 that:
29.1 million or 9.3 percent of Americans have diabetes
In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010.
1.25 million U.S. children have type 1 diabetes
26 percent of seniors aged 65 and older have diabetes
Diabetes is still the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.
Over-restricting carbohydrate intake often leads to binging on them later. The trick is cut out the bad carbohydrates and to eat a limited amount of healthy carbohydrates.
There is much controversy in the world of nutrition over just which ones are good and which are bad. My advice is to test which whole food carbohydrate sources work best for you based on your results.
Good carb choices include lots of vegetables, brown rice, wild rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, beans and legumes. There are also many healthy, minimally processed varieties of grains that offer good nutrition. Remember that differences in taste, food allergies, food sensitivities and other factors will influence your choices, but you still need some real carbohydrates in any sustainable diet.
Bad carb choices are all that you hear about in nutrition. I think that this is why people mistakenly cut out all carbs for long periods of time. Did you know that there are over 64 names for sugar in the food industry? Highly refined sugar in high doses is bad for any diet preference. We Americans eat far too much sugar — far more than any generation ever has. Most processed foods contain at least one form of processed sugar. This is why eliminating processed foods is so important to fat loss.
Once again, moderation is the way to go. Replace your sugary carbs with healthier choices to have energy and get lean.
Brittney Glock is a performance fitness nutrition specialist and personal trainer at Midland Fitness. Her expertise in fitness and nutrition is based on multiple nutrition certifications and years of living a healthy lifestyle as a working mother of three. Contact Britt at 945-4440.
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