In Part 1 I explain that carbs are indeed not the enemy. The diet industry has vilified carbohydrates, causing woman a lot of anxiety and fear around carbs. The reality is that woman need carbs to keep hormones balanced and metabolism running at optimal speed.
Carbohydrates are necessary, but what kind of carbs should you be eating?
Traditionally most people think of carbohydrates as bread, pasta, rice, cereal, pretzels, and baked goods. Candy, soda, and anything that has sugar or flour as an ingredient are also carbohydrates.
Essentially, all of these carbohydrates fall into the category of simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates break down into the body very quickly as sugar. They give you a quick, short lasting burst of energy. You know how you want to take a nap about an hour after eating a big pasta dinner? That would be your blood sugar crashing after the big sugar rush you experienced from eating all the pasta.
The nutritional value of simple carbohydrates is pretty poor and can be categorized as empty calories. Neither is worth your while from a health standpoint.
Instead of getting rid of carbohydrates all together, it’s healthier and more sustainable to upgrade. Exchange the simple carbohydrates for complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates break down into sugar much slower than simple carbohydrates. The slower a food breaks down into sugar to be used as energy, the less insulin that gets released. The less insulin you have circulating, the less energy (or sugar) you have to store as fat.
The slow effect of complex carbohydrates is due to the fiber in these foods. Fiber converts very slowly to sugar in the body. This is a good thing because it results in a slow and gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream. The slower the release, the less likely your blood sugar is to spike. No spikes in blood sugar mean steady energy and less hunger.
Some complex carbohydrates that you can include in your meals are:
-winter squash (butternut, delicata, spaghetti, acorn)
-rice (brown, sometimes white, and wild)
-brown rice pasta/quinoa pasta
According to my food philosophy, upgraded complex carbohydrates should be approximately ¼ of your meal. Some people (such as those that have trouble sleeping) do better with fewer carbohydrates at the beginning of the day and more at the end. Food isn’t an exact science and it varies from person to person. Experiment and see what works best for you!
If you’d like a blueprint for how to incorporate complex carbohydrates into your diet the right way, my free resource The Ultimate Guide to End Sugar & Carb Cravings is what you’re looking for. I lay it all out in a simple easy to follow format. The diet industry and main stream media has made food and nutrition really confusing. This resource will ease your stress and confusion about what to eat!