Understanding Carbs in Nutrition

Carbohydrates are the second building block of basic nutrition that need to be understood.

Carb diets ~ Carb free diets or lots of carbs in your diet… which one is right?

Let’s get to know more about carbs….  Carbohydrates are used to supply the body with the energy it needs to function.  Where do we get our carbs?  Carbs are found almost exclusively in plant foods such as legumes, fruits and vegetables.  Milk & milk products are the only animal derived foods that contain significant amounts of carbs.

Carbohydrates are divided into two groups ~ simple or complex.  Simple Carbs , also called simple sugars, include fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (table sugar)  lactose( milk sugar) along with a few other sugars.  Fruits are one of the richest sources of natural simple carbs.

Complex carbs are more complex in composition and include fiber and starches.  These sources would include vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

Carbohydrates are the main source of blood glucose, which is a major source of energy for the body’s cells and the only source of energy for the brain and red blood cells.

While I won’t go into great detail about how carbs work for us, it is important to understand that we do need carbs and we need to know what kind of carbs to eat.

We should always choose to eat carbohydrate rich foods which are unrefined or as close to nature as possible.  I strongly recommend that a diet should limit or exclude ~  refined or processed foods such as soft drinks, desserts, candy and processed sugar.  Including these in a diet can lead to many possible health risks such as diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Fiber or “roughage” is an important part of carbohydrates. Insoluble fiber can not be digested by the body’s enzymes and has no caloric value because it goes right through the digestive tract.  This type of fiber aids our intestinal tract by keeping things moving!  Insoluble fiber is found in carbs such as wheat bran, corn bran, whole wheat breads and fruits and veggies.

Foods rich in soluble fiber have been shown to help decrease blood cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. Another benefit comes from its ability to slow the absorption of glucose (sugar in the blood), which might in turn help control blood-sugar levels in diabetics.  These foods would include oats, brown rice, barley, dried beans, seeds, vegetables and fruits.

My personal preference is to get my carbs from mainly fruits and vegetables with a limited amount coming from whole grains and seeds.

One way to discover which of these carbs are best for your specific body type would be through the screening that can be done in my office.  Knowing which foods are best for you individual body can help keep you on the road to extraordinary health!  You can find more information about my consults on the website https://palmbeachnutrition.com/sessions-rates/ and about the screening https://palmbeachnutrition.com/sessions-rates/consultations/ .

Best of Health !