**Rebecca Jacobs NC
Holistic Balance Nutrition
What’s the deal with carbohydrates? While some may believe that carbs are the enemy, others rely on carbohydrates to re-fuel before and after a workout, so what’s the right answer? The truth is that it all comes down to what types of carbohydrates you are refueling with and how you balance your carbohydrate intake with fats, and proteins.
How do you Know What Type of Carbohydrates to Eat?
Complex carbohydrates are far superior to simple carbs. While simple carbs will cause your blood sugar levels to skyrocket, complex carbohydrates release more slowly in the body and are then efficiently broken down and used for energy. Below are some of the best complex carbohydrates you can include in your diet, especially during workout days.
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- High fiber vegetables
- Acorn squash
- Whole grain bread
- Whole wheat pasta
What Types of Carbs Should You Avoid?
While complex carbohydrates are great for steady energy release, and essential for refueling your body after exercise, simple carbs should be avoided. Simple carbohydrates can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. These types of carbohydrates are stripped of all of their fiber content, vitamins, and minerals leaving them with zero nutritional value. Simple carbs are also loaded with sugar and are often found in the following places:
- White bread
- White pasta
- Processed snacks
- Breakfast cereals
How Much of Your Diet Should be Made up of Carbohydrates?
Many people want to know exactly how many carbohydrate food items should be included in their diet. The truth is that there is no clear cut number that applies to everyone, everyone’s dietary carbohydrate requirements are going to vary. Generally speaking, the USDA recommends that you get between 45-65% of your daily calorie intake from carbohydrates. To calculate this in calories, multiply your daily calorie intake by 45% and then 65% to give you an accurate range of how many calories you should be coming from carbohydates. Keep in mind that this number will depend on health conditions, as well as body weight, what your health goals are, and activity levels.
Remember to always choose complex carbohydrates, and eliminate all processed carbs from your diet. Removing simple carbs may be just the answer to help you let go of stubborn weight, or increase your energy to push through a workout. No matter the reason for removing simple, and processed carbohydrates, your health will thank you for it.