What You Should And Shouldn’t Fear

Because we’ve come to fear everything – including fruit

For decades upon decades, the low carbohydrate diet has been the center of attention when it comes to proper nutrition and losing weight. And over one hundred years later, we are still pointing the finger at poor ol’ carbohydrate.

What started with William Banting in 1869 and soon found it’s way into the hands of Dr. Robert Atkins, a diet that consists of mainly meat and vegetables. You’re only permitted to have 20 or less grams of carbohydrates a day, so fruit, grains, or even some vegetables are out of the question.  To give you a reference, the body (depending on how active you are, age, weight, goals, etc.) needs at least 45-65% of your daily caloric intake in carbohydrates in order to function properly. Also referenced, the daily recommended amount for a healthy female is at least 50-150 grams of carbohydrates, again depending on your lifestyle and goals.

Atkins Not Approved:

IMG_8205.jpg

Hmmm, What Exactly Is A Carbohydrate?

If you have typed “carbohydrate definition” into Google and feel even more confused, let me explain it in English for you. A carbohydrate is a compound that is present in a variety of foods, contains 4 calories per gram, and one of three essential macronutrients. Many foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, oats, legumes, and even milk contain carbohydrates. However, they are also associated with foods such as candy, cake, and cookies. So why both sides of the spectrum? Well a carbohydrate can present in three different forms: sugar, starch, and fiber.

And we wonder why many people get confused, right? But that’s exactly it – the topic of carbohydrates is confusing, it’s complex, and it’s usually explained extremely vague. But it doesn’t need to be, keep reading:

Should I Eat Them? And Which Them Are We Talking?

Unlike the remaining macronutrients, fat and protein, the carbohydrate isn’t always clearly identified and understood, which is why so many people may feel intimidated when it comes to adding them into their diet. The truth is, your body utilizes carbs for many functions and processes, many are found naturally from the earth’s surface, and more often than not, they are delicious.

A common misconception is that ‘all carbohydrates are created equal.’Many people believe that a donut can be digested and affects the body in the same way that an apple can. The correct answer here is false. All carbohydrates are not the same and the body does react differently. We can give credit to the Glycemic Index for creating the well known terms simple and complex carbohydrates. A simple carbohydrate is known as being ‘one dimensional’ or lacking nutrients such as candy, cake, or even white bread and digests more quickly. And on the other hand, a complex carbohydrate is described as a carbohydrate that contains more vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) and digests a bit slower.

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you which one you should focus on. Unless it’s cheat day – go for it girl. Eat all the cake.

The Most Beneficial Carbohydrates For The Body

We’re talking physically here, we all know mentally, chocolate is the right answer.

Any diet that has a healthy mix of everything, is always my greatest suggestion. It’s important not to restrict your body of one thing or another, or better yet, overcompensate with something else. Everyone’s daily diet should consist of a healthy amount of fats, protein, and carbohydrate.

The carbohydrates that you should be implementing into your diet consist of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Going beyond the surface, stock up on foods high in fiber such as leafy greens, beans, and whole grain rice. Swap out any white bread or snacks for something less processed such as whole wheat bread and pasta. A general rule of thumb, is the least amount of processing/fortifying foods the better. Stay away from anything with additives, chemicals, and nutrient-less ingredients.

Carbohydrates I Always Have In My Kitchen

I know that having an adequate amount of carbs after a day in the gym is crucial for getting stronger. A few essentials that we like to keep in our kitchen: any type of whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, *whole wheat flour for any recipes, sweet and regular potatoes, tons of fruits and vegetables, snacks: corn tortilla chips, whole wheat crackers, and more pasta (aka Annie’s Mac n’ Cheese).

I spent years being so afraid of carbs that I stopped eating them all together. I thought the moment that I had a bowl of cereal, my “progress” was going to diminish in front of my very eyes and I would be back to square one. As it turned out, I was doing such harm to my body by not providing it with the nutrients and calories it needed to grow stronger, and even leaner. I can’t say the moment I started eating them everything went back to normal and I instantly grew muscles. I went through months of stomach hormone issues because of how deprived I was, which furthermore led to almost a year of weight gain and the complete opposite of where I wanted to be.

Depriving yourself of any one nutrient is the most unhealthy route you can take. Food is meant to fuel your body, allow every magic process to work flawlessly, and ultimately bring you happiness. A surplus amount of any type of food will generally make you gain weight, and if thats common knowledge, then you have nothing to worry about with a bowl of whole wheat pasta.


My Note: I am a nutrition student, learning from myself, my history, and my ASU textbook – remember what works for me might not work for everyone. These are my opinions and understanding that I am glad I can share with you. Any questions of comments, leave below and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

13 thoughts on “The Dish On Carbs”

    1. I’m so glad I was able to break it down a bit for you! Check out eatright.org for more reliable and easy to understand info. It’s definitely my favorite website for everything nutrition!

  1. Yaasss! Carbs are not the enemy! As a trainer and nutritionist, I’m always trying to help my clients get a better relationship with carbs. They can be so beneficial to achieving your fitness goals!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *