The Debate On Carbs

Friday, September 2, 2011

As a personal trainer I get asked a lot from clients, are carbs really that bad for you? My answer to them is yes and no. Carbs are absolutely essential in the recovery of your muscles from exercise. Without some carbohydrates in our system it takes longer for the energy in muscles to be restored. Eating carbs will also help reduce the soreness we feel after we exercise.

Now here is way I say yes and no as my answer. White "refined" carbs or calorie dense carbs such as a piece of chocolate cake or a blueberry muffin from costco are not going to do you much good.

Listed are some key characteristics of a good "wholesome" carb:

high in fiber: helps you stay full longer (and avoid overeating), provides sustained energy, lowers cholesterol levels, helps to remove toxins from the body
low glycemic index: stabilizes blood sugar levels and insulin production
high in nutrients: natural vitamins, minerals & phytonutrients promote health and help to prevent chronic disease
low 'energy-density' (except nuts & seeds): provides sustained energy, promotes healthy weight loss and long-term weight maintenance
greater 'thermic effect': naturally stimulates metabolism and promotes fat loss

You can find good carbs in light or fat free dairy products, whole grain breads, fruits and veggies, legumes (beans), brown rice, oatmeal, granola, whole wheat pastas.

Eating these good wholesome carbs will help you feel fuller longer and help you have more energy throughout your day. Eating the right carbs is the key to success in recovery of muscles so you can keep exercising daily. It is recommended that 60% of our diet is carbs throughout the day, so make sure they are good ones!

Have a good labor day weekend!

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