I have heard many times from many individuals they are on a diet so they are cutting out the carbohydrates or trying to significantly reduce the amounts they are eating, but this isn't the way to go and can cause low energy levels, muscle waisting, feeling fatigued and intense cravings. In fact studies show if we are not getting the proper amount of carbohydrates we often have dreams about consuming foods high in carbohydrates.
There are 2 types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are generally loaded with sugar and have little nutrients and should be limited. They are refined, meaning they have been processed and a lot of the nutrients have been removed. Avoiding simple carbohydrates (or simple sugars) is important, they are things like white breads, candy, white rice and cookies and break down into sugar in the body. However it is important to understand fruits are considered a simple carbohydrate because of the amount and type of sugar they contain (fructose). It is a natural sugar and fruits contain fibre, vitamins and minerals so they do provide us with nutrients. Fruits should be consumed in moderation, are not a bad option but vegetables are generally a better choice.
Complex carbohydrates are the other type of carbohydrate and they are also known as starches. Complex carbohydrates are not refined, contain all the parts of grain and therefore have a lot more fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein making you feel fuller longer, and don't cause a spike in blood sugar. They include, brown rice, whole wheat breads, pastas, cereals, oatmeal, sweet potatoes etc.
Here are some more reasons complex carbohydrates are so important.
* Carbohydrates are a macronutrient, meaning our bodies need them in relatively large amounts to support normal function and health
* they provide the body with energy and are organic as they contain carbon which is an essential component of all living organisms.
* They are the primary fuel source for our bodies, particularly our brain and are used during exercise
* The AMDR (acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges is 45%-65% of our daily energy intake (fat is 20%-35% and protein is 10%-35%)
* Complex carbohydrates are full of vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and much more
If you are trying to lose weight, it's all about balance, cutting carbohydrates alone is not a good idea, for the reasons above. Finding the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat is essential to a health lifestyle.
So don't cut the carbohydrates!!