Carbohydrates could easily be considered one of the more confusing and misunderstood food sources today. Most people will tell you that carbohydrates give us energy to function, but beyond that they can’t tell you much more. Even fitness experts are contradictory in the advice and opinions they give when it comes to the role that carbs play.
Diet peddlers have molded public opinion into the false belief that carbs cause weight gain; much like they did, incorrectly, during the low-fat era. Low-carb diets like the Atkins and South Beach have contributed to this dialogue, because people do lose weight from these type of diets. However, with the benefit of hindsight, we now know that these “zero-carb” diets have extremely high rebound rates, and health risks as well.
Eating carbohydrates is not really the problem – it’s eating the wrong ones that can not only contribute to weight gain, but to diabetes and other health problems if you don’t know the difference. Recent studies have shown that carbohydrates are much more complex than previously thought, and are also much more important to our overall health. We simply need to shift our eating of carbs from the bad ones to the good ones, rather than eliminate them.
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What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are an essential fuel for our body and our brain to function properly. While it is true that our bodies will feed off of fat stores as a reserve energy source, being in a prolonged state of ketosis (carb depleted) will force our bodies to begin using muscle and other soft tissue as energy as well. This results in a lethargic energy level, places tremendous stress on our kidneys, causes electrolyte imbalances, and eventually lowers your resting metabolic rate.
With the exception of fibers, carbohydrates break down into sugars, which in turn provides the fuel we need to function. Initially, carbohydrates were divided into two categories: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are normally devoid of any nutritional value and are used primarily for flavoring. You can recognize simple carbs on labels by looking for sugars ending in “ose” ie: fructose, sucrose, etc. There’s nothing wrong with consuming simple carbs in small amounts, but you should limit your intake as they represent empty calories.
Complex carbs are food sources that contain starch and fiber. These cause the sugar molecule to be digested more slowly, providing our bodies with more sustained energy levels and the ability to better absorb phytonutrients and minerals. Not only that, but the fiber found in complex carbs keeps our intestinal tract clean and binds to unwanted fats, shuttling them out of our digestive system. Complex carbs can be found in whole grains, beans, potatoes, corn, brown rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables.
Good Carbs Versus Bad Carbs
Although it’s fairly easy to see that simple carbohydrates fall into the bad carbohydrate category, not all complex carbs are considered good either. Some complex carbs are much healthier than others. White, processed breads have less fiber and nutritional value than whole grain breads. Brown rice is a better choice than white rice, and baked potatoes are a better choice than french fries.
The reasons should be obvious: processed foods are stripped of fiber and other starches that contribute to what we want nutritionally from our good carbohydrates. White rice may look pretty on our plate, but it’s this processing that has removed the husk and other nutritious compounds that we need. Deep frying or high temperature cooking is also processing by another name… avoid or reduce these carb sources.
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Ingredients in Isogenics Products
All ingredients in Isogenics Cleansing products have been professionally formulated and are the highest quality available. The shake, for example, contains 240 calories – of which a proportion of this is made up of carbohydrates, but they are predominantly complex, healthy carbs.
Some other competitor shakes contain as little as 100 calories and market themselves as low or zero carbs, but often you need to add milk or something else to the product to make them a complete meal replacement. When you try an Isogenics program, you’ll find that you are encouraged to make healthy food choices. To find out more about Isogenics, click here.
Healthy Advice For Selecting Good Carbohydrates
- Eliminate or avoid foods that have been refined or processed.
- Switch to sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.
- Dump the white rice and go for brown rice instead.
- Choose whole grain breads over enriched white bread.
- Try oatmeal over processed cereals.
- Eat fruit instead of drinking sugary fruit juices.
- Avoid low-carb foods sweetened with fructose or sucrose.
- Avoid low-carb foods high in saturated fats.
- Ditch the deep-fried complex carbs.
- Take in some form of good carb with every meal and snack.
- Eat more beans: they’re loaded with fiber and amino acids.
- Opt for whole-wheat pasta.
As you can see, not all carbs are created equal. However, by understanding the differences between these food sources, we can begin making healthier dietary choices that will have a real impact on how you look and feel. All you have to do is start replacing those fast-burning carbs with fibrous and nutrient-dense carbs… and you can kiss goodbye to those zero-carb diets forever.