Why Carbohydrates Should Be Your Diet’s Fuel

Diets based on a high-protein, low-carb approach aren’t the best weight loss solutions, as they have the potential of making us sick. It is enough to study a little the U.S. Food Pyramid and you are going to notice carbs are mentioned as being absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of our body.

According to Sandra Meyerovitz, an expert in nutrition and online nutrition coach, “Carbohydrate is one of the macronutrients that we need, primarily for energy”. Protein and fat are also two must-have components of a well-balanced nutrition, but they supply long-term energy to our body. Carbohydrates are the ones that provide the immediate amount of energy, as they are faster and easier to break down and convert than fats and protein. This is why Sandra Meyerowitz explains when she stresses the importance of including carbs in your diet, if you want to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.

Main Types Of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can be simple and complex. Simple ones are easier to convert into energy, while complex ones need a longer time and more work in order for the body to break them down.

As Meyerowitz mentioned, this is a slow process, which is a good thing. When they break down slowly, complex carbs provide constant levels of energy to the body for longer periods of time. Simple carbs supply rather energy spikes, thus not being too useful for us.

Best Sources Of Carbohydrates

It’s well known that we need to take about 50% to 60% of our daily calories from carbs. The best sources of complex carbs are whole grains. Fruits and vegetables provide simple carbs, but they are also healthy because of their fiber content. A failure to supply the body the right amount of carbs will lead to depriving it of energy or to an unhealthy tendency to replace carbohydrates with fats.

Here are a few foods you should consider if you want to give your body high quality carbs:

– Whole grains such as quinoa, bulgur, oats and bran
– Whole grain bread and whole-wheat pasta
– Whole rice
– Plenty of vegetables such as beans, broccoli, lentils and leafy greens
– Various fruits and berries

In order to be effective a diet doesn’t need to be too restrictive. You can occasionally enjoy a dessert or a baked potato. All you need is make sure this is rather an exception than the rule, and you should be fine.

Beware not to lean the scales towards the other side. Making complex carbohydrates your main source of calories is a bad thing either. They are full of calories, so you risk of putting on weight if you don’t pay attention to the right mix between carbs, protein and fat.

Knowing that complex carbs are good for you, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you crave brown rice or whole-grain pasta. They are accepted as healthy foods in any diet, as they are a high quality source of fuel for the body. Such foods are needed in order to be able to maintain a steady supply of energy throughout the whole day.

Mary D. Jordan / February 21, 2015 / Fat-fighting