Bread, pasta, pancakes, bananas. What do these foods have in common (besides being delicious)? They contain carbs.
Poor carbs. Seriously, ever since we’ve fallen back in love with fat and protein, carbohydrates have become the macronutrient we all love to hate and hate to love. Love them or not, you need them and here’s why.
Why Do I Need Carbs?
Carbs are one of three macronutrients (along with protein and fats) and can be categorized as a starch, sugar or fiber. They’re needed because they provide energy to cells, including brain cells.
I’ve Heard of “Good” and “Bad” Carbs? What’s the Difference?
There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Each type is found in different foods, is used in different ways by the body and can offer different benefits.
Simple carbs such as fresh fruit, fruit juice and sugars of any kind are mainly sugar that is rapidly absorbed. Complex carbs such as whole grains, starchy veggies (corn, sweet potato) and beans have starch and fiber that slow the digestion and absorption of sugar.
Why Do My Friends That Eat a High-Protein, Low-Carb Diet Lose Weight?
Protein is an awesome macronutrient. There’s no denying it. And, yes, protein can help us feel satiated. However, even though protein is a key dietary macronutrient, it shouldn’t be the only one. Sources of carbohydrates also provide a host of nutrients, like fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are an important part of a balanced diet.
What Sources of Carbohydrate Do You Recommend?
Whenever possible, we recommend carbohydrates from whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods.
Some of our favorite sources of simple and complex carbohydrates are fruits, sweet potatoes, carrots, beans, lentils and if you’re adding a sweetener, try maple syrup.
What Type of Carbohydrates Should I Eat When I Work Out?
Both simple and complex carbohydrates can help fuel a workout. Before you hit the treadmill or your fitness class, grab that banana, orange, or apple. Or if you’re looking for an easy way to win your workout, with 16 grams of premium carbohydrates, add a scoop of Vega Sport® Energizer to your pre-workout routine.
So now you know. Not all carbs are bad. So, don’t second-guess yourself as you reach for that apple. Go on, eat it, enjoy it.