Carbohydrates often get a bad wrap because of the new diets out there where people try to avoid carbs all together. It’s extremely difficult to avoid carbs all together. Which makes restrictive diets that request few or no carbs at all seemingly impossible to follow.
Think about it, we have carbs in the morning for toast, oatmeal, french toast, or pancakes (which is usually created with a wheat product).
Then we often have a sandwich for lunch or a roll with a side salad. And it’s no different when it comes to supper. Which often includes pasta or pizza night, baked potatoes or another type of roll.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. I’ll explain shortly that I believe carbs are a good thing if you pick the right ones and consume them in moderation.
You may have noticed as I explained the SAD includes carbs in every meal and not the best ones. We carb load almost every single day, and I didn’t even include fast food in that example.
It’s no one why as a society we’re overweight, we lack energy, we’re on multiple medications and on top of all that we in large part blame carbs because of it.
Carbs can actually be a good thing. They offer energy, they prevent you from being hungry and we know when we’re hungry we don’t make the best food choices. And they offer an abundance of vitamins and minerals as well.
Again, the problem is choosing the right type of carbs. So let’s talk about which ones those are, but first let’s talk about which to avoid.
The easiest way to explain which carbs to avoid is, usually the white ones:
- White bread
- White rice
- White potatoes
These white coloured ‘foods’ are usually highly processed and have very little fibre in them to slow digestion. The quicker a nutrient absorbs, the quicker it will turn into a sugar.
We want to slow the processing stage and choosing complex carbs is the way to go about that. These white carbs are what we call simply or quick digestion carbs. In most cases you want to avoid them.
Now I’m not saying you can never have white bread again. I mean what happens when you go out to your favorite sushi restaurant and you want to enjoy a dinner out.
Well of course you can have a white potato, especially if you’ve grown it yourself or if you found a farmer to support at the local market. However it would be a good idea to limit your consumption of simple carbs.
Did you know that at many sushi restaurants you can request brown or wholegrain rice? No it’s not the same but it’s a better choice and something that you can get used to.
Honestly white bread has little nutrients at all, so that’s one I’d like you to consider removing all together in a progessive manner instead of all at once.
Our goal here it to introduce complex carbohydrates, maybe at first to try, then on a regular basis, in which hopefully you can come to enjoy.
As you might guess dark coloured carbohydrates are what we call complex or slow digesting carbs. In most cases this is because they have fibre in them which slows digestion. The slower a food takes to digest, the slower the release of energy is, which gives you sustainable energy instead of quick spikes causes blood sugar increases, which may offer a boost of energy but it always comes with a crash.
What we really want is slow release carbohydrates so we can have sustainable energy throughout the day which will also increase our metabolism and help us burn body fat, and I mean who doesn’t want that?!
The complex carbohydrates that you are looking for include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Rolled oats
- Brown or whole grain rice
- Whole grain and or Sprouted bread
If you’re enjoying Grandma’s homemade bread or making your own, that could be a little different. Bread is in a category of it’s own.
I usually put it at the bottom of the carbs list for the simple fact that it usually has tons of ingredients, most of which aren’t healthy. But if you can find a local bakery that uses clean ingredients, that’s different.
Sourdough is a different breed as well. I’ll talk about fermented foods in a different section. But in most cases fermented foods help digestion which makes it a healthy choice.
When it comes to breads, if they are an absolute must, I’d look for Sprouted ingredients first, organic is always a plus. Then I’d look for wholegrain, whole wheat, and as previously mentioned I’d suggest staying away from white bread as often as possible until it’s no longer an option in your household.
Sweet potatoes would be my number one option because it’s a complex carb but is also packed with nutrients, isn’t usually high on the ‘sprayed’ list and isn’t processed either.
A close second is quinoa, a super food which was explained in more details in the last chapter. And then we have oats on the last as well that I discussed in more detail.
So those are the complex carbs I recommend most which doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a different type of complex carb or that you can never have a white carb again.
Choose moderation when you now it’s not the best choice, and do your best to slowly eliminate or enjoy when it’s an absolute must. Like for example when you go to Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner and she pulls out freshly baked white bread rolls.
Let’s be real here, not too many people are going to pass up on those. And you shouldn’t if you enjoy them. Have them on a special occasion and make better choices the rest of the year.