Pastas, Breads and Cereal….Oh My!


You’ve heard carbs are bad for you, but they taste soooo good! A little bread with dinner, Special K for breakfast and pasta once in a while won’t hurt me, right? You may ask yourself, what’s the story with carbs?

First, let’s clear something up – NOT ALL CARBS ARE THE SAME! For our purposes, we are going to refer to them as complex and simple carbs. Simple carbs are processed foods already broken down from its original form meaning it is no longer a whole food. Anything containing flour is processed – breads and pastas, cakes and muffins, cereals and pie crusts are all simple carbs. In the digestion process, these carbs are broken down and converted to glucose in the body very quickly. Moreover, many processed carbs – breads, cereals, muffins also contain sugar so we have added dextrose, sucralose, high fructose corn syrup or other sugars to digest. Finally, simple carbs contain very little meaningful nutritional substances because the ingredients are already processed and broken down. This strips our food of essential vitamins and minerals and leaves our bodies starving nutritionally. Since simple carbohydrates quickly turn to fat in our bodies, we better be working out like we are training for the Kona Ironman to burn those empty calories….. And who has time for that?

On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are our friends! These carbohydrates are whole fruits and vegetables that the body must expend calories just to break them down! Yep, that’s right! Celery, broccoli, citrus fruit, apples, and asparagus are just some examples considered to be zero calorie foods! That means our bodies use more calories consuming and digesting these foods than the calories these fruits and veggies hold! That means you can lose weight just by replacing simple carbs with these zero calorie fruits and veggies.

If you read my previous post on sugar cravings, you will understand that once you consume simple carbohydrates your body will begin to physically crave these foods because they have become sugar in your body. You will ride the sugar roller coaster of high peaks and crashes throughout the day. On the other hand, if you fill your body with complex carbohydrates – whole fruits and vegetables -you will stay satiated longer and your body will no longer physically crave those sugar highs from simple carbohydrates.

So, what’s the moral of my story? Simple carbs = BAD, Complex carbs = GOOD!

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