Poor old carbohydrates have quite a bad reputation at the moment, here are some of the headliners we are constantly exposed to: “Carbohydrates make you fat. Avoid carbohydrates if you want to lose weight or stay slim. Carbohydrates are bad for you”. So what is it with those carbohydrates? Are they really so bad for us and responsible for our nations waistlines getting bigger and bigger?
The answer is both Yes, and no.
Yes, because simple carbohydrates found in white flour, pasta, rice, sweets, sugary desserts and drinks are both bad for us and can also have responsibility for adding extra flab to your waistline, hips, thighs or arms. Simple carbohydrates very quickly convert into sugar and thus energy for our cells. In order for our cells to deal with such a quick sugar spike through our gorgeous body, they give an order to our pancreas to release insulin which transports all the glucose into our cells making it available for use. The energy that is not immediately used (unless we planned on going for a couple of hill-sprints, a 10 km run or a HIIT session), is then stored as fat cells in our body…most likely around our waist! Yuk!!!
BUT…and this is a big BUT…not all carbohydrates are bad for us and have this dreaded effect of piling on fat onto our treasured bodies. In addition to those simple carbs there are also complex carbohydrates which can be found in wholegrains, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. The key when eating carbohydrates that boost your beauty, health and can even play a big part in your weight loss journey is to eat the right ones! High quality complex carbohydrates include sweet potatoes and natural grain kernels that still contain the bran, endosperm and germ. These carbohydrates supply you with vibrant energy and help your digestion without the nasty side-effects of roller coaster blood sugar rushes or protruding belly pouches and love-handles.
I would however like to add a word of caution at this juncture; any whole grain products containing gluten can be a leading cause for systemic inflammation in the body and gastric upset. This is due to the fact that the wheat grain we are eating today is very different from the grain that our grandparents consumed. The most common culpritfor indigestion today is a highly hybridized version of the ‘old wheat’ that our bodies had the abilityto digest. Todayswheat also leaves behind an acid-forming residue in our system which causes our PH levels to become more acidic.
Whole-grains which can be easily digested without digestive discomfort or weight gain include beauty grains like millet, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and brown rice. They will instead help you to feel more satisfied and fuller for longer.
So rather than trying one restrictive diet after another I recommend including vibrant, health promoting carbohydrates into your diet to support your weight loss journey. Eating in this way you will feel less deprived and less inclined to binge or over-eat on simple carbohydrates.
In short – go back to happily eating healthy carbohydrates and I promise you will look and feel even more amazing than you thought possible!