Alright I’m going to write this as if you all already read part one and you’re coming from there. So you just read a little snip bit from the course I took. Here is the link to that said course — https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:WageningenX+NUTR101x+2T2016/course/ — So the point of sharing all that information on the chemistry of carbohydrates to really show how important carbohydrates is for a healthy body. I’ve heard so many people with the warped idea that cutting out all carbohydrates is the way to go. This post is going to be about carbohydrates in your diet.
Again this blog will be a mix of my experience and advice with pieces straight from the course. I will clearly indicate when it’s from the course, it’s the cursive writing, so there is no confusion.
Before I begin the course goes into a lot of details, details I won’t go into here as well I don’t want to copy and paste the entire blog. I feel like that is stealing. I just really want to talk a little more and share information for those who don’t have the time for a 8 week course.
Carbohydrates in our diet
Now I’ve made it clear many times before that I love my carbohydrates but like with many things; there is a healthy version and an unhealthy version. You can get pastas, rice and breads that’s high in sugars and have a bunch of processed stuff added that isn’t necessarily good for your body. It’s those products that can make the weight go up although over consumption in carbohydrates can also affect your weight. Really there is a fine balance. You find people who respond well to a low carbohydrate diet and people who respond well to a high carbohydrate diet. The only way to know which side of the spectrum you fall in is with trial and error. In the beginning of my fitness journey I cut out ALL pastas, rice, potatoes, bread and all that jazz. Cookies and cakes (all things super delicious in this world) and was on a strict smoothie diet. I was on a very low carbohydrate diet and I had no energy in my body. I felt sick, slow and deprived. I didn’t have the energy for my workouts and would feel faint after a workout. I wasn’t starving myself, I just didn’t eat what my body needed.
I switched over to a high carbohydrate diet and the difference in my energy levels was a 180 degree difference. I did go to high and ate too much of the goodies which backfired and I gained weight. So there is a sweet line. I eat two portions per day of the big carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes) but I don’t go overboard with the amount. I also purchase the gluten free and very low in sugar option. My favorite new ‘pasta’ is made from rice and contains zero sugar and the calories isn’t high. It’s filling and gets the job done.
I don’t know about you but in the beginning I thought carbohydrates is only pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries, cakes and etc. It didn’t occur to me that there is carbohydrates in other products, I mean who knew there is in bananas. I sure as hell didn’t. This course opened my eyes to many facts.
This next part comes from the course.
As you can see in the table below, many foods are high in carbohydrates. The predominant sources of carbohydrate in most people’s diet are starchy foods such as wheat, corn, rice, cassava and potatoes. The raw forms of these foods (e.g. whole wheat, brown rice etc) also contain substantial amounts of fiber, which is mostly lost during processing. Many foods are rich in carbohydrates due to their high sugar content, which is present naturally (as in fruits) or added during processing. Crystalline table sugar is 100% carbohydrate in the form of sucrose. Meat contains only very small amounts of carbohydrate in the form of glycogen.
Please note that the carbohydrate content of a food shown on the food label is calculated differently in different parts of the world, in particular when it relates to dietary fiber.
The course goes into detail about the source of dietary fiber. I found this part to be super educational and eye opening so I’m going to copy and paste this part in.
Plant foods in their natural form usually contain substantial amounts of fiber. The table below provides estimates of the total fiber content of many foods. Most high fiber foods contain a mixture of dietary fibers, although the main type of fiber present can differ considerably between various foods. Processing of food often leads to loss of fiber. White rice contains much less fiber than brown rice. Orange juice contains less fiber than an actual orange. White bread contains less fiber than whole wheat bread. Sometimes, the colour can be deceiving. Many breads in the Netherlands are made to look like whole wheat bread, but its main ingredient is white flour, not whole wheat flour. Other breads are made to look like white bread (to make it more appealing to children) but have fiber added. Always check the list of ingredients. Animal products, including milk and milk products, contain little to no fiber. Sometimes, fiber is added to yogurt to create functional foods.
The course continues with a lot more super technical information on how carbohydrates are digested and absorbed and the metabolism of carbohydrates. If you’re interested to learn a lot more about that technical part of carbohydrates then I would recommend you check out the course itself. There is one last part of carbohydrates from the course that I want to discuss. It was the most eye opening week from the entire course and something that made the biggest difference in my health and overall way of life. It’s about sugar! I hope you enjoyed this post! I tried my best not to be to technical like part one and not to copy and paste everything from the course. I really do want to share the information I learned without stealing the entire course.
Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!