“Carbs are evil.” “Eating carbs will make me fat.” “You shouldn’t eat carbs after 7pm.”
I can’t tell you how many times I hear someone tell me they don’t want to eat carbohydrates because they are scared that they will gain weight. Carbohydrates are not evil, I promise. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m eating a bowl full of shrimp alfredo without guilt!
AGAIN. Carbs are not evil. In fact, your body actually needs them. 45-65% of our daily caloric intake should come from carbs. That means if you are eating 2,200 calories per day, you should be eating between 248 grams to 358 grams of carbs per day. That is probably a lot more than you thought you should eat.
So why do carbs have such a bad reputation? Well, not all carbs are created equally. Essentially, carbs are sugars. While many carb sources are great for you, some sources include processed foods, added sugars, and refined foods. Also, just like with any macronutrient, if more are consumed than what can be used or stored for short term use, they will be converted to fat for long-term storage. While that is not the purpose of today’s post, you do need to pay attention to the TYPE of carbohydrates you are eating.
When you consume carbohydrates, your body begins a process to break them down. Without going into specifics, insulin is released and sugar is absorbed for energy use and storage. This process allows for your body to provide a steady stream of energy throughout the day.
Fiber is often found in healthy carb sources. Fiber is mostly insoluble, so it moves along the digestive tract which helps to stimulate digestion. It also promotes bowel health and can keep you more regular (if ya know what I mean).
Healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains, can promote heart health. They can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of plaque buildup in our arteries. Even if you aren’t thinking about your heart health right now, I think everyone wants to stay healthy overall.
So now that you know you should be eating carbs, where should you start? I recommend checking to see where you currently are. Track your nutrition for one or two days and see how many grams of carbs you eat on a regular basis.
Once you know that, take a look at where those carbs are coming from. Are they coming from healthy sources such as veggies and whole grains or are they coming from sugary sweets and drinks? It is okay to have some of both, but be sure most of your carbohydrates are coming from whole sources.
Lastly, try to make one change now. Maybe next time you are buying bread, buy whole grain bread instead of white (Dave’s Killer Bread is my favorite). Maybe add some veggies to your plate. Start with something simple, and once you feel comfortable there, add something else.
I hope this post helped you to understand why you need carbohydrates in your diet, and why you should not be cutting them out. As always, if you have any questions, COMMENT down below or dm me on Instagram, @jessicabondfitness.
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I help women with chronic illness incorporate mindful movement and adopt new habits that work with their diagnosis and avoid new flares.