Did you know that there are is so much confusion on nutrition and weight loss? Especially Carbohydrates and Weight loss.
Oh Yes! And it’s costing us our health.
There are many articles on carbohydrates (In this article I will refer to them simply as Carbs) and am sure many of us have come across them. I for one, remember studying about carbohydrates in primary and high school. Never thought much about them apart from that they are ‘Energy Giving Foods’.
Up and until I started my weight loss journey I was so confused on what to think about Carbs largely because they have such a bad rap when it comes to losing weight.
Thus, today I am not going to repeat what’s already out there but rather share some new insights which I have learned as I started my weight loss journey.
Okay! Let’s begin…..
The Dreaded Word ‘Carbs’
It is important to note that there are chemical substances that humans consume in the largest quantities and which provide us humans with the bulk of energy. They are called Macro-nutrients.
Note: While water does make up a large proportion of the total mass ingested as part of a normal diet, it does not provide any nutritional value.
The 3 principal classes of macro nutrients are:
1. Protein 🍖🍗🥩🍤
2. Fats 🍾🥥🥑
2. Carbohydrates 🍞🥐🥯🍕🥔
So its is good to know that Carbs are central to our nutrition.
So why the fear? 🤔
Carbohydrates are further divided into 3 groups. Let’s explore them further.
Simple carbohydrates do not require much effort when it comes to the body getting its primary fuel, glucose. This is because they have a very simple molecular structure.
Simple carbs, also known as processed carbs, are usually processed in a mill (wheat), sweet items such as cake, cookies, sodas, ice-cream.
I was shocked to learn that, although unprocessed, fruits fall under this category because of sugar/sweetness.
So this is the reason why kids get hyperactive 20 mins after eating a lot of candy or sugary treats?!
Lesson: Simple carbs should be consumed minimally.
And to help me never forget Simple Carbs is this tagline:
Simple Carbs = THINK SWEET ITEMS!
The body requires a lot of energy and time to digest and absorb complex carbs because they have complex molecular chains and a lot of energy/calories.
These include sweet potatoes, quinoa, couscous, buckwheat, oats, beans, lentils…and more.
Surprise!! Yes, beans & lentils have more carbs than protein. This one here gave me a headache. All along I have been thinking legumes are Proteins. How many more people are getting it wrong?😭
And the Tag Line to help my brain is:
Complex Carbs = THINK WHITE. THINK HEALTHY.
Just like complex carbohydrates, my mind was refreshed ( flash back to the classroom 😄), fibrous carbs require effort because they have fiber/roughage (thanks to cellulose) and lots of Vitamins plus trace minerals but low in energy and calories.
These are vegetables such as cauliflower, kale, broccoli, spinach,tomatoes etc.
I did not even need a tagline for this but hey why not:
Fibrous Carbs = THINK GREEN
I was made to understand that the type of carbohydrates in vegetables is NOT the same type in starchy carbs.
Did you know that Peas+ carrots + beans (any kind) + lentils (any kind) are NOT real fibrous carbs or real vegetables?
Oh my! They are starchy carbohydrates and have a lot of energy and calories. I literally wished the earth opens and a hot-smoldering hand should give me a few slaps to wake me up. wake me up to the reality that i have been doing it wrong all these years. My goodness!
What a revelation! It was a roller coaster ride but worth it. Better late than never.
Truth hurts but lies can kill (translation from a Holy Book).
As I wrap up the introduction to carbohydrates and weight loss one thing that I kept in mind was:
Not all carbs are created equal.
Join me in the next article as we go deeper into Carbohydrates and weight loss. You don’t want to miss it!