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Low carb, no carb, keto, carbaholic; What does it all mean? What is a carb? Are all carbs created equal? Let’s investigate all that is a carbohydrate. Our food consists of 3 different macronutrients. One being carbohydrates and the other two consisting of proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are found in a wide range of different foods and they deliver an array of essential nutrients our body needs to thrive. There are many different types of carbohydrates: these include starches, fiber, and sugar. Carbohydrates consist of three elements. These include a combination of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen.
After eating carbs, your body begins to break them down into simple sugars. Your body then absorbs them into your bloodstream. This causes your blood sugar to rise, thus causing insulin to be released by your pancreas. Insulin is like a key. Your body uses it to unlock your cells so the sugar can be easily used as energy.
All carbohydrates are not created equal.
There are two main types of carbohydrates. Simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates= sugar, simply put. These are the types of carbohydrates that you find in candy, cakes, soda, and other foods like enriched pastas and other processed foods. These simple sugars are quicker to be digested which creates a large blood sugar spike and increased energy commonly referred to as a “sugar high or rush”.
Complex carbohydrates are very different.
They take longer to break down and digest once they are consumed. They also produce a more longstanding energy. Complex Carbs are found in all types of foods such as whole grains including pastas and breads, fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods. These complex carbohydrates are high in fiber and contain more vital nutrients. They are also more filling which is always a plus. Complex carbs are fundamental to long term health. They can also help lower the risk of chronic diseases and prevent obesity.
The bottom line: While carbs are not created equal, ALL carbohydrates can fit into a healthy diet. You just have to choose your foods intelligently while balancing your diet. Choose more complex carbohydrates in your eating plan and limit simple carbs to an occasional treat. If you are interested in a Keto diet, we recommend reading this!