Carbohydrate Confusion

The last of the 3 micronutrient and are absolutely the most misunderstood. Many of us try to not eat “carbs” but what about spinach or kale? Those are carbs. Black bean pasta or spaghetti squash, also a type of carbohydrate. Do you run from blueberries or lemons? Also part of the carb crew.

I had a friend when I was fresh out of graduate school, let’s call her Jamie whose claim to fame was “I do not eat carbs”. There was a huge exception I learned after hanging out with Jamie for a while, as she was a friend of a friend and these relationships usually take a while to unfold. The caveats were: unless the carbs were in sushi, or crackers, alcohol never counted, or anything she ate when she was drunk or about to get her period, or when her boyfriend was being a jerk. You can see where this logic got her.

Let’s call her Jamie, ended up ingesting a ton of junk food, and champagne while thinking she was on “a diet”. Any guesses to how successful Jamie’s attempts at losing weight were? They were not in the least, she kept gaining and never understood why.

Let do a little Science talk to figure out what exactly a Carbohydrate is and why it can come in so many forms.

Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. But carbohydrate quality is important; some types of carbohydrate-rich foods are better than others:

Carbohydrates are found in a wide array of both healthy and unhealthy foods. They also come in a variety of forms. The most common and abundant forms are sugars, fibers, and starches. Some carbs will spike our blood sugar and then it will crash, such as a soda, while collard greens will not.

What’s most important is the type of carbohydrate you choose to eat because some sources are healthier than others. For example, healthy, whole grains such as quinoa are better choices than highly refined white bread or French fries.( Harvard School of Public Health)

You will be able to scan a menu and know which items are slow acting and which are fast, and which you want in your body and why. We will be going over why I am a big fan of berries versus mangos, why I am team spaghetti squash and not team spaghetti.

When in doubt, please remember sushi rice will be processed as a fast acting carbohydrate even if you are drinking champagne and mad at your boyfriend.

Tomorrow: Starches

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