We hear a lot about carbohydrates these days, so I thought it would be nice to discuss the basics on this topic. With all the diet choices out there it is a good idea to understand what are carbohydrates and what role do they play in our bodies? Hopefully by the end of this article you will feel a little more informed on this topic. Carbohydrates are the bodies “go to” source for energy. This energy source comes in two forms–simple and complex. Simple carbs are quickly converted to sugar by the body–think of white bread for example–or already contain sugar like honey. Complex carbs are slowly processed by the body, think of a loaf of brown 100% whole grain bread.
Simple carbohydrates are often highly processed foods that we find in the grocery store. You will all recognize these simple carbs as anything made with white flour; (bread, pasta, crackers), or white rice. All These carbs are refined, in that process the fiber and many nutrients are removed. Refined simple carbs are quickly turned into sugar by your body, to use as fuel. Other simple carbs are found in nature such as Honey, Maple syrup, molasses, fruit and dairy products, all of these contain sugar. Fruit is best consumed as a whole food. Eating an entire apple gives you sugar but also has fiber and loads of vitamins. Drinking apple juice on the other hand removes much of the fiber.
Complex carbohydrates are often whole grains and vegetables that are found in nature. Some examples of complex carbs are: 100% whole wheat flour, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beans and lentils. These are called complex because they are packed with vital nutrients and fiber that greatly slow their conversion to sugar. Complex carbs are generally whole food therefore they contain more of the good nutrients that our bodies need. The fiber in these carbs causes their sugar content to process more slowly and the insoluble fiber scrubs our digestive tract while making us feel full.
Our world is full of highly processed foods that are rich in calories and low in fiber and nutrients. Current research shows that the people who eat more fiber are thinner and have lower blood pressure. With this concept in mind here is a list of simple changes we can all make, to up our complex carbohydrate intake!
Lose the white bread and try my favorite Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted-whole-grain-bread. Change out your white rice for brown rice. Choose crackers that are made of 100% whole grains. Try some whole wheat pasta or some alternatives like pasta made from brown rice. Quinoa is known as the South American super food because it is a complete protein all by itself! Check out some of these fun Quinoa Recipe Ideas! Beans and lentils are full of fiber and nutrients. I like to get dry beans and make them at home; this saves me a ton of money and ups the quality. Take a look at this simple way to cook black beans at home.
By reducing simple carbs and increasing complex carbs your nutrition is upgraded in a major way! Our supermarkets are full of flashy products that are highly processed and low in nutrition. We end up over fed and under nourished, contributing to an alarming number of health issues. Type 2 diabetes and obesity have skyrocketed in recent decades. I know that increasing our nutrition and activity would help many people lose weight and feel great! Slender Body Solutions is your partner in Health and Weight Loss. We are committed to bringing you all the information you need to accomplish your healthy lifestyle!