Can I Just Skip the Carbs Entirely?
With all of the craze surrounding the Ketogenic diet out there, carbohydrates are getting a really bad reputation. It’s too bad, because this is an important macronutrient that shouldn’t be avoided. There are some carbohydrates we should all minimize in our diets, but there are lots of very healthy and critical carbs we should consume daily.
In fact…did you know, veggies are considered to be carbs?!?
And you all know how much of a fan I am of filling your meals with as many vegetables as possible!
More Reasons Why you Need to Eat Carbs:
- They are the fastest-acting energy source. When you’re feeling tired, especially after a workout, carbs are the foods that give you a much needed boost of energy in the quickest time possible.
- We have limited body storage. We can’t store enough carbs in our bodies to get us through one full day, so we need to consume them daily.
- Our brain and central nervous system prefer carbs for fuel.
If you’re trying to lose weight, your carb intake needs to be inversely proportional with healthy fats. Meaning, when you eat a meal high in carbs, minimize the fat in that meal to make sure you’re digesting your food in the most efficient way possible.
Good vs Bad Carbs
Good carbs: Examples of healthy carbs include: vegetables, fruits, legumes (eg. alfalfa, peas, lentils) and whole grains (eg. quinoa, Bulgar, steel cut oats, brown rice).
These carbs are digested slowly, unrefined and unprocessed and most of them contain a lot of fibre. They help control blood sugar, insulin in your body and energy levels. When you eat these carbs, you feel full quickly, and usually for a long period of time.
Bad carbs: Examples of unhealthy carbs include: sugars and white pastas, breads and rice.
These carbs are digested quickly, refined, processed and they’re often sweet. They spike your blood sugar and triglyceride levels and increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol. After consuming these carbs, you may feel full, but only for a short period of time. These foods are often packaged with large amounts of fat and salt. They usually taste good, and are easy to over consume.
So What Should I Do With This Information?
Understand that not all carbohydrates are created equal. Some carbs, like vegetables, are extremely important to consume daily, and in large quantities. I suggest that you try increasing your ‘good carb’ intake, and reduce your ‘bad carb’ intake by trying out these food substitution ideas:
Instead of fajitas in a tortilla shell with cheese…consume grilled chicken on a bed of seasoned veggies with salsa on top.
Instead of pasta…consume zucchini noodles with tomato pasta sauce.
Instead of chicken curry on rice…consume chicken or shrimp sauted with veggies in coconut milk and spices.
To sum it up…
Despite the fact that carbohydrates are getting a really bad reputation right now, they are an important macronutrient that should be consumed daily. To stick with your healthy eating plan, it’s critical to understand the difference between the healthy and not so healthy carbs. Remember to stock up on healthier carbs outlined above.