Are Carbs Evil or Are They Healthy?
The simple answer is not all of them. But you clicked on this post to find out more so I’ll explain how carbohydrates work and the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates.
For starters, let’s talk about Complex Carbohydrates. Carbs are our main source of energy (that explains why people on low carb diets usually resort to coffee and pre-workout supplements) and are easily metabolized by the body. Our cells use it for energy after it’s converted to glucose and also store in our muscles and liver as energy stores. It’s also needed for our vital organs to function properly, and aid the synthesis of nonessential amino acids (the ones our body creates)
Fiber, which is a form of carbohydrate found in plant foods that is essential for a healthy digestive system. Unfortunately, most Americans consume on average 15 grams of fiber a day due to a lack of consuming whole plant foods that are rich in fiber. It is suggested to eat about 40-50 grams of fiber per day from food instead of depending on a fiber supplement.
There are two types of fiber:
· Soluble Fiber can lower LDL Cholesterol and aid with regulating blood sugar. It is found in legumes, oats, and berries.
· Insoluble Fiber prevents constipation and can be found in grains, seeds, and many vegetables.
Carbs don’t sound so evil now right? But I know you may still have some doubts since there are countless diets that recommend eating less carbohydrates, but at times forget to mention the real ‘villain’ of this story: Simple Carbohydrates.
Simple Carbs are usually highly refines grains that lose around 80% of their nutrients while being processed. Although some of these foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals, but our body can absorb nutrients from whole plant foods more effectively. Also, simple carbs increase blood sugar and insulin which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.
In a nutshell, eat plenty of whole, plant based foods (good carbs) and minimize or avoid all processed, refined foods (bad carbs)
Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!
Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES
Owner of On The Go Fitness
Source: Adapted from Campbell TM. The China Study Solution: The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness,
Using The China Study's Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet. New York, NY: Rodale, Inc.; 2015. (previously published as The