Our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut feels that we should be eating more complex carbs and fewer simple carbs. What’s the difference?
We have heard it so many times: Carbs make you fat.
But we asked our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut to shed some light on this debate.
Should we not eat carbs?
If we should eat carbs, how much and what kind? Are all carbs created equal?
There are a few schools of thought on carbohydrates, says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer.
And there is an argument to be made on both sides: pro-carbs and anti-carbs.
First, what are carbohydrates? They are the sugars, starches and fibers in grains, vegetables, fruits and milk products. Essentially, these macronutrients are the body’s main source of energy. They are important to life.
“I would never tell a client to not eat carbs,” says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer. “It’s not safe to cut out an entire class of macronutrients (along with protein and fats). Your body needs them.”
He goes on to say that carbs are necessary for proper functioning of the body.
Carbs provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for working muscles. Additionally, they prevent protein from being used as an energy source, and they enable fat metabolism.
Simple carbohydrates are broken down more quickly and are more easily and readily digested. The body does not have to work to break them down. As a result, simple carbs may not lead to satiation, or a feeling of fullness.
Our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer tells us that simple carbs are found in sugar, fruits, milk, but they are also found in processed foods, like syrups and candy, juice drinks and soda. Often, these simple carbs are labeled “empty calories” because they provide very little nutrition.
They can also wreak havoc on your digestive system.
Complex carbohydrates, says our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut, pack in more nutrition than simple carbs do. Because they are typically higher in fiber, they digest more slowly in the body. This, in turn, makes them more filling and satisfying, which makes them a good option for those people practicing weight control. Additionally, he says, because they are digested slowly, complex carbs do not cause a spike in blood sugar. This can help someone with Type 2 Diabetes manage their disease.
Some excellent sources of complex carbohydrates include:
Whole grains—make sure the label says “whole grain” in the ingredients list.
“Also,” says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer, “don’t be afraid to try something new, like quinoa or buckwheat.” You will be surprised at how versatile some of these ancient grains can be.
Fiber-Rich Fruits and Vegetables—Do we really need to discuss the benefits of vegetables like broccoli, leafy greens, peppers, etc? They’re digested slowly, help regulate your system, and have tons of necessary nutrients. And fiber-rich fruits will satisfy your sweet tooth, as well as provide filling fiber and nutrients.
Beans—In addition to fiber, there are good sources of vitamins and minerals to be derived from beans and legumes.
“A good rule of thumb” says our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer, “is to eat most of your carbs from the complex carbohydrate list, most of the time and you will avoid a big mistake.”
He goes on to say that it’s ok to have an occasional treat once in a while. We can’t all live in a box, and life is meant for enjoying, even while traveling too, but try to ensure that you are making healthy choices the majority of the time. This also includes choices that are going to serve your bone health.