Carbs often get a bad rap. Carbohydrates can have affect individuals in different ways. For some, carbs can be fine, while for others, it can send their blood sugar into a downward spiral.
To get started, let’s talk about the basics, carbohydrates, or carbs are one of the basic building blocks or macronutrients. Fats and protein are the other two. Carbs come in three forms:
For the most part, carbs get broken down into glucose or sugar by the body and is used for energy. Fiber doesn’t get broken down in the traditional sense, but it does feed our belly’s digestive system.
Let’s get the “bad stuff” about carbs out of the way…when we eat refined, more processed carbs (think empty calories), they do get metabolized rather quickly and can cause a spike and extreme drop in our blood sugar. Think about when you had some candy (or your children)….you get really hyper and excited and then all of a sudden you experience a crash. You feel sluggish, you can’t think and in many cases, you don’t feel great either.
Examples of those simple carbs include:
- Sugary drinks (think soda pop)
- Fruit juices (freshly squeezed juice can cause problems too)
- White bread
- Pastries (cake, cookies, donuts)
- Most Ice cream
- Candy and chocolate (Aim for dark chocolate when you can)
The goal is to have more complex carbs that help you to stay full longer. This will reduce the spikes and crashes often associated with the simple carbs that you may consume. When you think about good carbs, think about these things:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Beans (think lentils and other types of beans)
- Nuts (macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts)
- Seeds (chia and pumpkin)
- As many whole grains as possible (brown rice, quinoa)
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes
As I have mentioned before, you have to determine what’s best for your body and your thyroid. I typically thrive on a lower carb diet, but that doesn’t mean that you will. As I mentioned in an earlier podcast episode, write in your food journal for a week and see how you feel when you have certain foods.
Check Out the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Produce list here.
Here is my food journal template that I use to guide me when I’m experimenting with new foods and want to track how I feel.
Listen to the episode while you’re at it! ☺
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