The Scoop on Carbs & Why They’re Good for You

Excuse me while I step on my soapbox here but I am just plain tired of people talking negative about carbohydrates. Now, hold on. I realize some of you just checked out! But hang in there — allow me to defend this Macro-Nutrient that lacks a voice.

Our bodies need carbs. Carbohydrates are the main energy source of our bodies. But some carbs are better than others.

 

Good_vs_Bad_carbs

From Yoli.com

 

Maybe you’ve seen this picture lurking around Pinterest? (Or maybe you haven’t.) Personally, I think it’s a great visual on what are acceptable carbs to eat–even on a low carb diet!–and what are undesirable carbs to eat on a regular basis. I should mention that I don’t like calling Simple Carbs “bad” because that means that if I eat it then I’ll feed “bad” because I ate a “bad” food. Adding the guilt emotion to eating is never a good idea.

So why are complex carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables, and fruits with peels like apples and pears) so great?

One Word: FIBER

Now, there’s definitely more about good carbs than just fiber but let’s settle on this question for a moment: Why is fiber so amazing?

First of all, it is so important to clean out our bodies. You know all those “trendy toxins” that are floating around the media? Well, lots of people think you need to starve yourself by skipping meals or drinking only smoothies and lemon water or apple cider vinegar to release those toxins. But in reality, incorporating fiber into your diet in addition to exercising (yoga and walking/running are my faves), drinking plenty of water and getting rid of bad habits (smoking, drinking, being a couch potato, staying up too late etc.) will do the job just fine without those expensive diets.

Another great thing about fiber is that when you are looking at a nutrition label like the one above, you can subtract the Dietary Fiber from the Total Carbohydrate! The result will be the actual amount of carbohydrates in a serving. So in a serving of this bread, there’s actually 8g of Carbs (13g of total carbs – 5g of fiber = 8g of carbs). The reason fiber isn’t truly counted as a carbohydrate is because fiber is not an energy source. It is rather a satiety contributor and — as mentioned — a “cleansing food” (it cleans out your digestive tract).

So in short, fiber can help a person lose weight, lower their risk for heart disease and diabetes; and in general, feel better about themselves.

More about fiber here and here! 

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