What's the deal with Carbs?

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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The carbohydrate debate seems to be growing more heated and more polarized by the day. If you’ve been on YouTube or health-devoted blogs, you’ve probably heard a multitude of opinions and studies that tell you why you should or shouldn’t avoid carbohydrates. Fad diets like keto and others that tout a low consumption of carbs have gained popularity among the masses. And yet, some very prominent fitness personalities say that carbs are great building blocks for muscles.


So, what should we believe, and how should we manage our diet? While we’ll give no straightforward answers, we will break down the facts. Here we go.


NOT ALL CARBS ARE CREATED EQUAL

This is an absolute truth. Some carbohydrates are packed to the brim with great nutrients. Others hold little, if any, nutritious value. These two types of carbohydrates are classified into simple and complex. Let’s talk about them.


Simple Carbs

Simple carbohydrates are typically high in calories and low in nutrient density. These carbohydrates are typically converted into fats more quickly because they offer no real positives. Simple carbs are found in foods like candy, non-diet sodas, baked goods, fruit juice concentrate (orange and apple juice) and syrups. They also happen to make up a huge part of the American diet, which can be damaging.

Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates, on the other, are typically better for you. They are so named for their molecular structure, which is composed of a network of long, complex chains. These complex chains break down more slowly, provide energy and build muscle. These carbs are found in foods like sweet potatoes, peas, leafy vegetables, and more, natural foods. These foods are lower in calories and higher in nutrient yield, thus making them better for you.

CARBS AREN’T SCARY

Or, better said, the right types of carbs aren’t scary. To my way of thinking, a fear of simple carbohydrates has overridden the logical use of complex carbohydrates, labeling them all as “bad.”

Keep this in mind when choosing what you’re eating: simple carbs simply destroy a diet. Complex carbohydrates compliment your diet. And, as always, as long as you keep in a caloric deficit, you’ll be just fine (this is much easier while eating complex carbs, by the way).


So, whether or not you want to eat carbs is truly up to you, but don’t allow misinformation to keep you from some very dense sources of great nutrition.

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