Everything You Need To Know About Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, commonly referred to as carbs, are one of our main food groups, serving as the average human’s primary source of energy.

Carbs are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, arranged in varying combinations. 

Our bodies tend to gravitate towards carbohydrates due to their ability to provide efficient fuel. When consumed, carbs are converted into glucose, which is then used to fuel our cells.

This glucose is not only vital for helping us with physical activities but it’s also the preferred fuel for our brain, influencing mood and cognition.

While carbs are often seen as the black sheep of the food groups due to the belief they make us gain weight, this isn’t strictly true. The key is understanding which carbs are good and which you should maybe avoid.

Differentiating Carbs

Carbohydrates come in two main forms: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates, found in sugars like glucose and fructose, are quickly broken down by the body which provides a quick burst of energy. 

On the other hand, complex carbohydrates, commonly found in foods like whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, are made of longer chains of sugar molecules. These take longer for our body to digest, providing a prolonged release of energy.

When analysing which carbs are better than others, we can look at the impact they have on our blood sugar. This is known as the Glycemic Index (GI) and it classifies carbohydrates based on how quickly they raise these levels. 

Foods with a high GI, such as refined sugars and processed grains, cause rapid spikes in blood glucose, leading to a sudden surge in energy followed by a crash. These fluctuations in blood sugar are responsible for weight gain, fatigue and hunger pangs which subsequently leads to overeating.

By opting for low-GI alternatives, like whole grains, (most) fruits and vegetables, this helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, promoting sustained energy and better overall health.

Worst Culprits

Sugary snacks and beverages including fruit-based smoothies are arguably the worst offenders as they can swiftly elevate blood glucose levels.

Other high-GI foods include white bread and pastries, white rice, and many types.

Additionally, many processed foods often contain hidden sugars and high-GI ingredients, making them a real nemesis if you’re trying to shed the pound of pasta, potatoes, baked beans and many breakfast cereals.

Meal Prep Services

So as you can see, eating the right carbs, as well as a balanced diet, is what really counts. But these days, some of us are just too busy to cook with fresh ingredients so it can be difficult.

However, there is a simple solution: meal prep services! These provide carefully portioned meals, which ensure you consume the right food and the correct number of calories to hit your goals. 

Furthermore, our meals are designed to offer the correct balance of macronutrient and micronutrient balance, with a focus on adequate protein, healthy fats and good-quality carbohydrates.

So to eat delicious foods that provide adequate fuel and won’t force you to pile on the pounds, get in touch!