Carbohydrates…Friend or Foe?

You’re receiving conflicting messages, aren’t you?  They’re about our friend, affectionately known as “carbs.”  From one end, you’re hearing all about how you need to cut carbs out of your diet because they contribute to weight gain and possibly diabetes.  On the other hand, you have sources telling you that you absolutely NEED carbs to survive and without them, your body will be lacking what it needs to create energy.

So what’s the truth?  Well, the truth is that both sides of the argument have some validity.

In reality, you have a choice to make.  Or many, many choices, I should say.  You need to take a serious look at your diet and determine where your carbs are coming from!  They’re not all created equal.  Not to mention, each person is different.  Everyone is going to require a slightly different diet to get exactly the amount of carbs that their body needs.

The carb-haters are most likely referring to the SIMPLE carbs, made of one or two sugar molecules.  They’re easy for your body to digest, providing short-term energy.  While some of these sugars are good for you, like the ones that naturally occur in fruits, others are not.  Many processed foods have sugars that are added to them.  You just don’t want those candies, sodas, and baked goods to be your primary source of carbs. They can lead to a spike in your blood sugar, followed by a disappointing energy slump.

The carb-lovers are probably referring to the COMPLEX carbs that are found in whole grains, green vegetables, beans, and starchy foods like potatoes and corn.  These carbs are made of entire sugar molecules strung together and take longer for your body to break down, providing long-lasting energy.  These foods high in complex carbs can also provide a lot of fiber, which is great!  But you really can have too much of a good thing.  Too much fiber can lead irritate your digestive track.

So in the end, carbs are great!  If you don’t overindulge, you should be just fine.  In fact, science says you should be getting between 45 and 65 percent of your calories from carbs!  Just make sure they’re from whole foods instead of sugary treats.

You can find many of these healthy carbs in our juices, salads, and wraps at Grassroots!