The confusion surrounding carbohydrates continues as the diet industry is constantly trying to place the blame on something for today’s obesity epidemic! This clearly demonstrates that the diet industry is not looking out for your best interest, but instead spreading constant confusion and creating food fears world-wide. Almost every diet contradicts another and NO ONE can agree on which is the BEST approach to healthy eating. The TRUTH . . . . there is no perfect way! It will be an individualized journey for all who set out to improve their eating habits. To place the blame on one food item, a macro nutrient, or a food group is wrong and naïve. This blame game needs to stop and at Fuel Up Nutrition I educate clients on whole body health versus restrictive dieting.
First let’s start with defining carbohydrates: Carbohydrates include sugar, starch, and fibre and once consumed are broken down in the body to create energy! Carbohydrates are the body’s main FUEL source and a key component to a healthy diet. However, many of you may have heard the opposite. LOW carbohydrate diets, eliminating all sugar, and reports that carbohydrates are addicting is everywhere in today’s media!! Although there may be some truth in the matter, the media often takes a small finding and blows it up into a NEW FAD.
So . . . The questions remain: Are carbohydrates bad for you? Are you addicted to/craving sugar? Answer: Yes & No! Now let me explain.
Lets put carbohydrates into three categories:
1) “RED” – Highly processed and “addicting”
- White breads, rice and pastas, pastries, chocolate, chips, refined cereals, pizza, candy, cookies, ice cream, etc.
2) “YELLOW” – Processed, contains some important nutrients
- Whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, high fibre/low sugar cereals, whole grain crackers, etc.
3) “GREEN” – Natural, real, minimally processed
- Fruits, vegetables, brown/wild rice, barley, quinoa, sweet potato, steel cut oats, squash, etc.
Using these 3 categories you can quickly see that the “RED” and even the “YELLOW” categories can be addicting and cause cravings. These carbs do not provide our body with accurate fullness cues and this can lead to over eating. These carbohydrates are often broken down quickly leaving you hungry soon after consumption. I will admit, over consuming ice cream is EASY, but I can’t say I have EVER over consumed salad or carrots. Real, natural, minimally processed “GREEN” carbs provide your body with energy for an appropriate length of time. These carbs take longer for your body to break down and help your body accurately determine when it’s time to STOP eating.
If you know me or have read previous blog posts you know I am a big advocator of mindful eating. Making the switch to selecting more “GREEN” category carbs will help you reduce sugar cravings and help you choose appropriate portion sizes without measuring. If you feed your body with wholesome, real, minimally processed “GREEN” carbs your body will reward you with more accurate hunger and fullness cues! Listen to your body and be rewarded!!
If you have found the above information helpful and want to learn more about how to categorize the various carbohydrate options that today’s market place provides don’t hesitate to book an Appointment at Fuel Up Nutrition! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org today! This information above may not apply to everyone. Like I said healthy eating is an individualized journey. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to a health care professional near you!