Our world is finally realizing that it is not about low-carbs. It is about ‘smart carbs’ not about deleting carbs from our meals. There are many carbs that are true PowerFoods.
What are smart carbs?
Here is a list of them:
- fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
Smart carbs are complex carbohydrates and can be good for you. You can have carbs, as long as you choose them carefully; that is why they are called smart carbs! It’s all about balance. The body’s muscles need smart carbs as fuel and so does the brain.
Which carbs that are NOT SMART:
- White bread & pasta.
- White rice.
- Bottled and canned fruits and juices.
- Pops/sodas and other sugar products.
- Food that is full of refined carbohydrates like sugary (even those made with honey, maple syrup etc) cakes & cookies.
Those foods are simply empty calories with very little to no nutrition in them. IF IT’S WHITE, IT’S NOT RIGHT!
The Best Smart Carbs are:
- Fruits and vegetables, especially the green ones that grow above the ground like kale or dark, leafy lettuce.
- Beans such as kidney beans and garbanzo beans.
- Seeds including as sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Nuts such as almonds.
- Whole grains such as brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, whole wheat bread & pasta, multi-grain cereal/bread, oatmeal and oat bran.
Why You Need Carbs:
The body requires about 60-65% carbohydrates to feed the brain, nervous system and muscles. The predominant carbohydrate used in the body is glucose. Glucose in the blood is called blood sugar and is a major fuel source for most cells of the body. The muscles store glucose in the form of glycogen for endurance.
The brain relies on glucose to meet its energy needs. Unless the diet supplies adequate carbohydrates, the body’s metabolism switches to a starvation mode, in which body fat is burned to meet most energy needs. To fuel the brain during starvation, glucose is synthesized from amino acids obtained by the breakdown of muscles. You can see why the right kind of carbohydrates are essential for a balanced body.
For simple distinction, there are three categories of carbohydrates:
- Complex – Cereal grains such as wheat, rice, rye, millet, sorghum and corn. Beans and seeds of legumes contain 40% of their weight as starch. Complex carbohydrates occur in plants as starch and fiber.
- Simple – Sucrose, dextrose, fructose and corn syrup or anything on a label ending in -“ose.” Simple carbohydrates are referred to as sugars.
- Refined or Processed – Sugar and white flour are highly purified materials, containing little, if any, of the nutrients found in the whole food from which the carbohydrate was prepared; therefore, they supply mainly calories.
Why We Don’t Eat Smart?
There has been lot of confusion about carbs which has scared some but another reason is that we don’t know how to COOK complex carbohydrates properly.
Learn How to Cook Quinoa
Learn all about Millet and how to cook it: Millet
It is also about smart fats, see OILS and smart proteins (vegetable fats are less clogging but again- don’t eat too much).