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Do CARBS make us fat?

No Carbs before Marbs” …….. I’m sure you’ve heard that expression, or “No carbs after 4pm” as if your body knows what time it is! 😂😂

If you’re attending Get Fit Today sessions to lose weight and trying to cut down on your calories, you need to make sure that you are still including a decent amount of carbs to give you the energy to get through the day and exercise.

Most people associate carbs with things like bread & pasta but they can also be found in dairy products, fruit, vegetables and nuts as well as sugary foods and sweets. In fact, most foods contain carbohydrates, which the body breaks down into simple sugars and uses as the major source of energy for the body  There are two major types of carbohydrates (or carbs) in foods: simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates: These are also called simple sugars like the white sugar you see in a sugar bowl or brown sugar used in cooking cakes. If you have a lollipop, you're eating simple carbs for instance. Baked goods, breakfast cereals, biscuits and fruit juice also contain simple sugars However, you can also find simple sugars in more nutritious foods such as fruit and milk which is a much healthier because sugar is naturally contained in the product rather than being added and they also contain other great things like vitamins, fibre and nutrients like calcium. Using the example of the lollipop - this will have lots of added sugar but won’t contain any important nutrients.

Complex carbohydrates: These are also called starches and include grain products, such as bread, crackers, pasta, and rice. Complex carbs pack in more nutrients than simple carbs. They’re higher in fibre and digest more slowly. This makes them more filling, which means they’re a good option for weight control. The main sources of dietary fiber include:

  • fruits

  • vegetables

  • nuts

  • whole grains

As with simple sugars, some complex carbohydrate foods are better choices than others. Refined grains such as white flour and white rice for example, have been processed which means that the nutrients and fibre naturally contained within them has been removed by the pure process of processing them! Function of Carbs Carbohydrates provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for working muscles. They also prevent protein from being used as an energy source and enable fat metabolism Put simply - carbs are your energy! Though carbs are often blamed for weight gain, the right kind of carbs can actually help you lose and maintain a healthy weight. This happens because many good carbohydrates, especially whole grains and vegetables with skin, contain fibre.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2009 followed middle-age women for 20 months and found that participants who ate more fibre lost weight, while those who decreased their fibre intake gained weight. SUMMARY If the information above has baffled you, don’t worry - here is a quick summary of what you need to know.

  • Carbs are energy

  • They are not ALL bad for you, and in fact some are great!

Healthy Carbs

  • Vegetables. All of them. It’s best to eat a variety of vegetables every day.

  • Whole fruits. Apples, bananas & strawberry's, etc.

  • Legumes. Lentils, kidney beans, peas, etc.

  • Nuts. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts etc.

  • Seeds. Chia and pumpkin seeds.

  • Whole grains. Choose grains that are truly whole, as in pure oats, quinoa and brown rice

  • Tubers. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.

Not So Healthy Carbs

  • Sugary drinks. These are sodas, fruit juices with added sugar, and beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

  • White bread. These are refined carbohydrates that are low in essential nutrients and have a negative effect on metabolic health. This applies to most commercially available breads.

  • Pastries, cookies and cakes. These foods tend to be very high in sugar and refined wheat.

  • Ice cream. Most types of ice cream are very high in sugar, although there are exceptions.

  • Candies and chocolates. If you’re going to eat chocolate, choose quality dark chocolate.

  • French fries and potato chips. Whole potatoes are healthy. However, french fries and potato chips don’t provide the nutritional benefits that whole potatoes do.

So there you have it - now you know! Not all carbs are bad for you and in fact some are very good for you and essential for your body to stay healthy and energised. If you’re attending Get Fit Sessions, you need to make sure you eat some carbs before the session to give you the energy to exercise - and now you can choose the right type! 👍

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