If you’ve been living though the mantra, “No Carb Left Behind,” we get it. Your brain prefers carbohydrates to increase the amount of energy it can use. As humans, we are physiologically designed to love carbs. In fact, high carbohydrate consumption may become neurologically similar to having an addiction.
Scary stuff! The good news is that you can make smart carb choices and avoid the negative effects of refined/simple carbohydrate (one or two sugar molecules). In case you’re not terrified enough already, those include:
- weight gain
- hyper/hypoglycemia leading to insulin resistance and possibly diabetes
- energy loss
- fat storage
- dental cavities
Now that you’ve slowly backed away from your pantry, we want to assure you that there is no reason to give up carbohydrates! Complex carbohydrates, like those found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains (like quinoa, spelt, amaranth, rye, whole wheat, beans, oats) are beneficial to your health. From fiber to every single B vitamin, to micronutrients like zinc and manganese, there’s a wealth of compounds in these complex carbs that do everything from fill you up (fiber) to potentially fighting high cholesterol (beta glucans). Without carbohydrates, you’d be sluggish and probably also very sad!
Don’t forget about portion control: Remember that eating too many healthy carbohydrates can lead to weight gain. Try to balance your complex carbohydrate choice with a lean protein.