YES and NO. In trying to keep everything as simple as possible here at the site, I am going to stay true to my word and do that. Carbohydrates turn into sugars in the body when they are consumed. There are helpful carbs and there are carbs that are basically empty carbs.
On average, we will need to consume 50 to 55% of our daily intake of macro-nutrients…those being ( Protein, Fats, Carbohydrates) as carbohydrates.
When I say that there are helpful carbs and and empty carbs, this is what I mean. Have you ever eaten a very sweet thing, felt a rush of energy and then a half hour later feel your energy crash? Say a donut or a candy or chocolate bar? This happens because the sugars contained within those food stuffs are re-fined sugars that usually lack the fibre content to balance out the sugar content.
These would be considered fast release sugars (carbs)and give a quick hit of energy, but the lack of substance to them leaves them vulnerable to sudden crashes. For those times you do need a sweet hit, natural simple carbs such as fruit are your best bet.
Fruit contains fiber which balances out its sugar content so makes that energy hit a little more slow-releasing and sustainable than a refined carb such as a cookie or chocolate bar. Fruits are also a great source of vitamins that protect your body against disease, so when you satisfy that sweet craving by reaching for a banana or handful of berries, you are also doing yourself some good.
Here are some examples of Simple Sweet Carbs with added fibre
Here is the quick hit list of UN-HELPFUL REFINED CARBS (when trying to lose weight)
Jams and Jellies
Honey, unless you buy natural
Cookies, Candy and chocolate bars
Chocolate (dark is best if your gonna have it)
Fruit Juices ( these lack fibre, whole fruit is best), but still not at the less active parts of the day
Flavoured waters (Gatorade, Vitamin waters, Ice Cream
We have an index in the nutrition world called the Glycaemic Index or GI. This index allows us to rank certain foods on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels in the body. They are scaled from 0 to 100 on the chart and creates a more accurate picture of the release of sugars into the blood, but for the KISS principle, lets keep them at slow, moderate or fast release.
Lets take for instance…White Bread or a Jacket Potato. These are refined simple carbs and a natural carbohydrate but are equally classed as a high GI or a fast release sugar. Whereas eating say Whole Grain Bread, Beans, Pulses, Legumes are considered low GI and release their sugars into the blood stream slowly with out the spiking nature of the previous example.
There are also added effects on the breakdown of sugars which can be, the degree of cooking (processed foods are digested more quickly increasing their GI), The fat content, (fat slows the digestion process), the fibre content, (the fibrous nature in the food act as a barrier to digestion, decreasing their GI), and the type of starch, (viscous, soluble starch such as those found in Oats slow the digestion process, decreasing the GI.
The only healthy way to deal with refined simple carbs are to keep them as an occasional treat. Anything with added sugar, or made from refined (white) flour is likely to lack the fibre to balance out the sugar, and has little nutritional value to make it worthwhile. In addition, refined carbs may contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, additional fat, and processed sugars.
Eating refined carbs like a cookie in the morning will neither give you the energy nor give you the nutrition to maintain a balanced body. So the key here guys is to eat often, at least 5 times per day and try to eat foods that have a slow release element to them in order to sustain your hunger over a longer period of time.
Here are a few helpful guidelines for taking out excess carbs and putting low GI foods into your nutritional intake.
- Severely limit any foods with a HIGH-GI
- Eat carbohydrate rich meals earlier in the day when your body has the opportunity to burn the calories during your busiest times of the day.
- Try to also eat some kind of protein with every meal or snack, as these are high in fibre and make you feel more full.
- Eat 7 or more servings of fruit and fresh vegetables per day.
- Include green leafy vegetables when ever you can.
- Try to have a salad every day!
- Eat WHOLEGRAIN breads and cereals with a LOW-GI.
- Snack on fruit and low-fat yogurts.
- Choose cereals for breakfast that are based on oats. Porridge and muesli’s are perfect for this.
- Eat GRAINY BREADS and PASTA’S.
- Eat pasta or noodles in place of white potatoes.
- Use basmati rice instead of long grain rice. Brown Rice even better.
- Eat more pulses…Beans, peas and lentils.
- Have nuts frequently but sparingly. Although they are high in saturated fats, they are also heavily nutrient-dense. Moderation is the key on nuts.
- Eat higher-GI foods during or immediately after an exercise session.
So keep this in mind guys as you try to adjust your eating habits. Think smarter! Don’t always take the easy way out. Anything worthwhile having, usually has some work involved in getting it. Try and think as logically as you possibly can regarding your nutrition and especially in trying to LOSE WEIGHT!
SUGAR HIGHS AND FAT STORAGE
Carbohydrates can give you a short burst of energy, and this is why athletes may “bulk up on carbs” right before competition. But if the carbohydrates are not quickly burned off, they eventually will be stored as fat.
This is the case even with healthy carbohydrates, but the situation is much worse with junk-food carbohydrates, which offer only empty calories stripped of vitamin and mineral content.
One example is a particular brand of candy bar that, over the years, has been promoted in commercials as a means of obtaining a quick burst of energy. In fact, this and all other white-sugar-based sweets give only a quick “sugar high,” followed almost immediately by a much lower energy “low”—and in the long run by the accumulation of fat.
Fat is the only form in which the body can store carbohydrates for the long haul, meaning that the “fat-free” stickers on many a package of cookies or cakes in the supermarket are as meaningless as the calories themselves are empty.
Carbohydrate consumption is one of the main reasons why the average person is so overweight. With an in active lifestyle, as is typical of most adults in modern life, all those French fries, cookies, dinner rolls, and so on have no place to go but to the fat-storage centers in the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs.
Of all carbohydrate-containing foods, the least fattening, of course, are natural nonstarches, such as fruits and vegetables (assuming they are not cooked in fat). Next on the least-fattening list are starchy natural foods, such as potatoes, and most fattening of all are processed starches, whether they come in the form of rice, wheat, or potato products.
So if you are more active during the day…then try and eat the majority of your food in that part of the day and actively give your body its natural ability to burn calories effectively and efficiently at the right times of the day. REMEMBER…if something tastes….really good…like cakes, cookies, chocolate..there is a reason for this.
NOTHING is FREE guys when it comes to food and snacks. Manufacturers make these products like this to entice us to BUY MORE Good tasting stuff…AND GET MORE FAT! It’s a NO WIN situation guys and don’t get caught up in the hype and the sugar rush.
I want you to jump off that endless cycle and merry GO round…. TODAY! NOT TOMORROW...TODAY!. Start thinking clearly and understand that your body REALLY wants to be looked after and just operates at its optimum peak at its proper weight and with lean muscle tissue.
After ALL…this body has got to last you for the rest of your life! And it’s the only one you got.