Carbohydrates continue to be one of the most controversial nutrients, causing unneeded stress and anxiety for people trying to eat healthy. But it doesn’t need to be this way! Carbohydrates, as a macronutrient family are not evil, and do in fact play a rather important role in our lives.
For example: Did you know that the primary fuel substrate for your brain is glucose? This is also the preferred energy source by your body during most physical activity.
When you eat a carbohydrate containing food, your body breaks it down into a simpler sugar called glucose. Glucose is used by your body for fuel, or stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen for later use. (Except for the carbohydrates that we know as fibre – those are not used for energy and used for other purposes later on…)
I regularly have clients who drastically decrease their carbohydrate intake in an effort to lose weight, or eat more healthy. A common side effect is brain fog and irritability, caused when your brain can’t get sufficient fuel fast enough. This can have a highly detrimental impact on daily life, especially for those with active jobs, or jobs that require critical thinking. In turn, this often leads to intense carbohydrate cravings and results in eating more carbs (and often the less nutritious ones) than if they had just consumed well planned and balanced carbohydrates in the first place. In fact, building a nutritious carb source into every meal, combined with lean proteins and healthy fats will give you the most bang for your nutrition buck!
That is not to say you should load up on soda, sour keys, and French fries. Think about focusing more on complex, wholesome carbohydrate sources such as whole grains, fruit, and legumes, and save the simple/refined sugar products for special occasions or quick fuel during a long workout.
If you struggle with balancing your carbohydrate intake evenly throughout the day, making good carbohydrate choices, or deal with guilt/anxiety associated with carbohydrate foods, Tiffany can help!
*Note: This is not a substitute for medical advice and not all suggestions are right for everyone. Talk to your trusted healthcare provider for individualized nutrition recommendations