Carbohydrates, often referred to as “carbs,” are your body’s primary energy source, and they’re a crucial part of a healthy diet. Carbs should never be avoided, but it is important to understand that not all carbs are alike.
Carbohydrates can be either simple (nicknamed “bad”) or complex (nicknamed “good”) based on their chemical makeup and what your body does with them/how your body breaks it down. At the end of the day, remember that your primary motivation to exercise should be your HEALTH; your appearance is just the reward for taking care of your health. FOOD IS OUR FUEL! As ‘good’ as that doughnut may taste, nutritionally wise, it is of the lesser decision. Choose PROGRESSION, not digression.
- Table Sugar
- Corn Syrup
- Fruit Juice (not freshly squeezed)
- Candy/Chocolate LESS than 72% dark cocoa
- White Flour & ANY baked goods containing it. Ex. bagels, bread, cereals, pasta/noodles, cake/confectionary goods
- All-Bran/ barley/ buckwheat/ whole grain
- Steel Cut Oats
- Vegetables (beets, brussel sprouts, eggplant, cauliflower, carrots)
- Potatoes/ yam/ sweet potato/ squash
- Fruit (very GI sensitive)
- Beans/ Chickpeas / Lentils
Carbs are also ‘measured’ by their glycemic index (GI) which simply put, means how high or low that specific carb affects your blood sugar level. Generally, LOW glycemic indexed carbohydrates should be consumed PRE workout and MEDIUM/ HIGHER glycemic indexed carbohydrates should be consumed POST workout.
- High – maltodextrin, white bread, bagels, sugary cereals, dates, watermelon, mango, parsnip
- Medium – wild rice, basmati rice, popcorn, pizza, spaghetti, pineapple, melon, oranges, bananas, beets, potatoes, corn
- Low – buckwheat, oats, sweet potato, quinoa, yoghurt, 72% chocolate, olives, houmous, milk, nuts (cashews, almonds, brazil), avocado, kiwi, coconut, strawberries, apples, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit, peas, peppers, broccoli, lettuce, beans
If your having troubles choosing the right source of carbohydrate and avoiding the simple, ‘bad’, carbs, please reassure yourself by replacing your ‘I can’t have that’ thoughts with ‘I CAN have this but I CHOOSE not to’ [because my 5 minute craving is not as high of a priority as my lifetime goal]. As well as keeping the thought in your mind as your about to purchase that simple carb: I’m paying to go AGAINST my goals. Does that make any sense to me? Perhaps I should pay to go TOWARDS my goals!