Carbohydrates 101

07.01.24 02:02 PM Comment(s) By Vivek Gupta

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that our body needs to function properly, the other two being proteins and fats (check our previous post on proteins 101)

To have a balanced diet you need carbs! Carbohydrates provide your body with precious energy and if you choose the right ones, they can also give your body important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Plus, a lot of healthy carbs can also provide you with protein.

Carbohydrates are found in many types of foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. They are made up of sugar molecules, which are broken down during digestion to release energy that the body can use. 

There are two types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. 

Simple carbohydrates are types of carbohydrates that are quickly digested and absorbed by the body, which leads to a rapid spike in blood sugar levels often followed by a crash. Think about this, how do you feel after having a donut? Maybe some energy right away and then heavy and lethargic? 

Examples of simple carbohydrates include table sugar, honey, maple syrup, candy, baked goods like cookies and cakes, and sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. These foods are often highly processed and contain added sugars which have little to no nutritional value. Consuming too many simple carbohydrates and added sugars can lead to weight gain and an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It's important to limit our intake of simple carbohydrates and choose healthier sources of carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to digest and provide a more sustained release of energy. But aside from the slow-released energy that they provide, complex carbohydrates often have a higher nutritional value. For example, 

Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and barley. Vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli are also good sources of complex carbs. Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans are another great source of complex carbohydrates as well as fiber and protein. These foods are all part of a healthy, balanced diet and can provide sustained energy throughout the day.

It is important to eat carbohydrates every day, but choosing the right ones can make a difference in your health, your weight, and your energy levels.

Our suggestion at Mindful Wellness is to eat a diet that has unlimited fruits and vegetables. When you eat whole foods, your body will be prepared to fight disease more efficiently.

If you need help finding the foods that you need to eat on a regular basis, please reach out to one of the health coaches, we can help you with suggestions that are based on what you already like. No one diet works for everyone, so book your appointment with a health coach and let the brainstorming of ideas begin!

Mindful Wellness patients have access to unlimited visits with a health coach! We always suggest booking weekly as soon as you start the program and then every other week or once a month when you feel you have a good plan in place. Remember, we are here to help you every step of the way!

Carla Baccio is a National-Board certified Health and Wellness coach and has a master’s degree in Exercise Science, Nutrition, and Wellness from Liberty University.

Vivek Gupta

Share -