( 2 MINUTE READ )
Helloooo and welcome to Week 2 of the Macronutrient series! Last week I covered protein (click here if you missed it) and today we’re chatting about carbs! Arguably the most demonized macronutrient, which shouldn’t be the case with proper education on what they are, the different kinds and the roles they play in our bodies
So let’s get right to it! Carbohydrates are our bodies #1 source of fuel. The most feared yet also the most over consumed macronutrient. Which is why it’s so important to understand the truth about carbs.
Carbs break down into glucose, a type of sugar that gives our cells energy. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple carbs, which are more easily broken down into glucose and complex carbs, which include fiber and take longer to break down. Some examples of simple carbohydrates are sugar, candy, honey, jams, jellies, soda, fruit, white rice, white flour ,white bread etc. Some examples of complex carbs are variety of veggies, oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain bread, sweet potatoes, squash, beans, lentils and peas.
As you can guess, complex carbs are typically less processed, more wholesome sources. This does NOT mean that simple carbs are bad, it just means you need to be aware of HOW to consume them when you do. Because they break down so fast, they are SUPER easy to overeat because you never really feel full. When eaten alone, they also spike your blood sugar, which makes you feel great and energized at first but with every spike comes a subsequent crash. To avoid this, make sure you consume your carbs with a protein and fat source. Both protein & fat help with satiety and slowing the absorption of glucose into your blood stream.
BENEFITS OF CARBS:
How many carbohydrates should you be consuming?! This is a tricker one because it REALLY varies. Age, weight, gender & goals all play a vital role in determining your carb intake. Also, some people tend to do better with lower carbs and higher fats, while others tend to do better with higher carbs and lower fats. This is something you’ll need to play with to figure out!!
However, I never recommend going extreme with either of those circumstances. Here is a newsletter I wrote all about calculating your calories / macros. As you’ll see there, what matters MOST is hitting protein and total calories. Carbs and fats can fall as you wish.
Whether you are tracking macros or not, I’m a huge advocate of balanced meals in general. So each time you eat, think about having a source of protein, carb, fat and veggie present. Specific amounts will depend on your goals and hunger levels!