This blog is going to share a little more of the complexities than my typical blog based on motivating and planning. I want you to know that all of this information is gathered from reputable sources, my college degree, and my experience. However, I am not a certified dietitian and all the information you apply to your own health and fitness lifestyle should be done at your own discretion.
You may not even be here to learn the science behind carbs and the different breakdowns. Maybe you simply want to know what to eat, how much and when to eat them! So I'll start with what I personally do!
Carbs are more than just breads and grains, so I'll break down the carbs in my diet based of food groups.
My serving sizes are based off my current weight and exercise program. I calculate my caloric target and then measure my portion with containers for each food group. The serving size each day depends on what mode of exercise I'm participating in in order to get the best results and recovery.
2-3 Servings of one of the following:
3 servings of veggies:
2 servings of fruits:
Continue reading if you're curious why I included veggies and fruits in my carbs list...
When we think of carbohydrates we either immediately want to indulge or we all have the following thoughts:
It’s actually more complex than that. Carbohydrates are our body’s main energy source and can be found in healthful foods like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, rye and in fruits, vegetables and legumes. Did you know that fruits and vegetables are also a carb?
As we know, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are the three nutrients in food. Each can be broken down further into different forms. For example: proteins into amino acids, fats into saturated and unsaturated, and for today’s topic, carbohydrates into sugars (such as fructose, glucose, and lactose,) and starches from vegetables, grains, rice, breads and cereals.
As carbohydrates are broken down into their different sugar forms they are categorized as simple or complex. Simple Carbs have 1 or 2 sugar molecules and complex carbs have a string of sugar molecules. Which one do you think is better for you?
Many of you probably answered simple carbs, because, well less sugar. However, simple carbs are entirely made up of sugar and often appear in our diets within baked goods, white bread, white rice, soda and fruit juices as raw sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup etc. Simple carbs are quick energy because they don’t require a lot of breakdown within digestion. However, there is no nutritional value in simple carbs.
Complex carbs have a string of sugar molecules as well as other nutrients such as fiber, protein and natural forms of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These carbs take longer to digest, which common knowledge might deduct that longer digestion isn’t beneficial. However, a longer digestion means that food is more complex, typically meaning that it’s packed with more nutrients and the longer digestion allows your body is able to absorb all the nutrients from that food. Not only that, but it will keep you full longer!
Apples, broccoli, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, beans, peas and lentils are examples of HEALTHY complex carbs.
Many Fruits, vegetables and dairy are also technically made of simple carbohydrates but because of the fiber, protein and other nutrients, they act more like complex carbohydrates in the body and should be consumed daily.
I hope this helps! I know I get confused at times, as this is all pretty complicated material. If you want more of a break down on fibers, starches and more I found this to be an extremely simplified source at healthline.com and info on complex carbs