Sunday, July 23, 2017

How bad are carbohydrates?

How bad are carbohydrates?   They make you gain weight, right?  Come on, it must be true.  You read articles about it all the time.  So they're bad because they make you fat… right?

Here's the deal; because there's one small problem.  Carbohydrates are actually very important.  In fact, carbohydrates (especially the right kind) are essential to your body.  They aid in muscle growth and providing energy - as well as many other benefits.

So, how bad are carbohydrates?  The answer is they're NOT bad!

Now let’s be real.  Lumping all carbs together into one category is like saying all quarterbacks who play in the NFL will be just like Tom Brady.  It would be absurd to call all carbs bad when vegetables and fruits are also carbohydrates.  With that said, I would have a hard time believing that you would think that a nutrition plan attempting to completely purge carbohydrates would be a good idea.  I have a feeling you are a pretty smart cookie (oh, that would be a bad carb).  So to suggest that all carbs are somehow 'evil', is just plain nonsense.

Let’s take a step back and take a hard look at reality, compared to personal preference.  I need to ask you a question.  Are you willing to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with the truth about carbohydrates?  I am going to assume you said yes, either way I am going to give you the facts.

How bad are carbohydrates?

How bad are carbohydrates?  Will bread and grains make you fat?  Uh, NO!  Blanket statements just don’t work.  The “don’t eat carbs” or “Carbohydrates are Bad” statements are just that, Blanket Statements that just confuse the general public.  The reason people get confused, is that most don’t have a nutrition background or truly understand what qualifies as a carbohydrate.  95% of us look at food as simply that, FOOD.  All blanket statements have done is cause people to adjust their diets in a way that keeps their bodies from functioning properly.  This is why many people have been going out of their way to avoid certain foods, like bread, rice or potatoes - when in fact, these foods can have a place in a balanced nutrition plan and can play a role in helping you lose weight or gain lean muscle.

Now you know that carbs as a whole are not bad, BUT there are certain types of carbs that are not good for your body.  Generally, these types of carbs will make you feel bloated and tired.  These types of carbs often contain processed sugars, corn syrup, or are white flour based foods, and the list can go one with all the other processed items available.  If you can't grow it, or it doesn’t come from minimally processed whole grains, it's not the good kind.  Yep, simple as that.

It comes down to the food manufactures like to advertise and package their products.  If they can get the general public to buy into what they are saying about a particular food, macro-nutrient, or diet, they'll sell plenty of product.  You just have to be a little better educated, that's all.

So back to the question at hand… How bad are carbohydrates?

They're NOT bad, but all of us could gain a better understanding to guide our eating habits.  Eating vegetables and fruit, as well as high quality, high fiber grains are an important part of healthy nutrition.  If you truly want a balanced and healthy nutrition plan, that will aid in weight loss or muscle gains, you really need to have at least 100 to 200 grams per day depending on your level of physical activity and exercise.

The overall message is, you cannot consume bucket-loads of refined, low-quality carbohydrates and chase them down with and extra-large soda or beer and say, “Well, they said carbs aren’t bad”.  I know you're smarter than that and understand that you need to choose your carbohydrates wisely to have a healthy nutrition plan.  It's all about eating more good foods such as lean proteins, colorful vegetables, a variety of fruits, high-fiber grains, healthy fats, and cutting out the highly processed stuff such as candy, soda, beer, sugar-loaded foods, poor quality breads, and boatloads of pasta.

Another important factor is choosing the correct portions of the carbs you consume.  This can be as important as the kind of carbs you choose to eat.  Grain and fruit carbohydrates should be smaller portions than vegetable carbs.  If you need assistance with nutrition, portion sizes, and proper balance of carbs, proteins and fats, you may want to check out the 21 Day Fix or Beachbody On Demand.  Here you'll find amazing nutrition plans that create the perfect balance of nutrients and portions. If you struggle with maintaining a healthy diet, you definitely want to take a look at adding a total nutrition shake like Shakeology.  In fact, I believe that everybody should be drinking Shakeology.  It's a 21st century super-food and the perfect dietary supplement.

When it’s all said and done, if you are eating healthy and choosing wisely 85-90 percent of the time, your body will be happy, you will have energy, you will lose weight and gain muscle, or maintain your current level of weight and overall fitness.  You now know the truth to the question “How bad are carbohydrates?”

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