Carbs have gotten a lot of bad press in the past but the truth is you need to eat carbs to maintain good health. The trick is eating the right carbs and avoiding the ones that add unwanted fat around your midsection and on other areas of your body.
Here’s what you need to know:
First, you must understand that carbohydrates deliver essential fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants that your body needs to thrive. In other words, you really need to have carbs in your diet to remain in good health. Plus, carbs also are responsible for providing your brain with the fuel it needs to function properly. That means drop carbs entirely from your diet and you may also find yourself having difficulty focusing mentally.
So what carbs should you eat?
The answer is you should consume complex carbs, which usually come from high fiber foods. Complex carbs break down slowly in your bloodstream, giving you a steady blood sugar level throughout the day. This in turn makes you feel less hungry and irritable during those periods of the day when you might feel hungry – like mid-morning and mid-afternoon. On the other hand, the carbs you want to stay away from are simple carbs. These carbohydrates are more easily broken down by the body which results in your blood stream being flooded with simple sugars (glucose). This in turn prompts a surge of the hormone insulin, which is needed to carry the glucose to the body’s cells. The main result of all of this activity is that your blood sugar spikes, making you feel jittery. Unfortunately, your brain gets addicted to these high glucose levels and the feelings that accompany them and sends you running back to the fridge or the pantry every few hours for your next “fix” of bad carbs.
Over time, having high blood sugar and high insulin levels can lead to several bad side effects, such as:
- Greater fat storage
- Much less fat burning
- Then ultimately organ damage and even cancer
Clearly, bad carbs are nothing to mess around with. They can make you fat and they can make you ill seriously ill in some cases.
That means you should stay away from such bad carbs as:
- Refined grains (this includes white bread, white rice and enriched pasta)
- Processed foods (this includes cakes, candy, cookies and chips)
- White potatoes
- Sweetened soft drinks
- Sugar in general
Instead, fill your diet with these good carbs:
- Fresh fruit
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Non-gluten grains (buckwheat, millet, quinoa and brown rice)
- Non-pasteurized dairy products (yogurt, kefer and butter)
If you have eaten the wrong carbs in the past and, as a result, have weight that you want to lose now … one way to do that is to go on a diet that focuses on your hormones – specifically insulin and three other hormones that have been shown to play a vital role in weight gain and weight-loss.
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