But what’s the real deal with carbohydrates? Are they really just there to tempt up to gain weight in the form of pancakes, baguettes, muffins, cookies, and other deliciousness?
If we look back on past civilizations, we can see our ancestors surviving on rice, wheat, quinoa, barley, and other grains, and they were never over weight.
The trick is to look at the QUALITY of the carbs we are eating. Are we eating processed [white] carbs or are we eating whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, and wheat?
Simple carbs are composed of one or two sugars and are refined so much they no longer have much of a nutritional value and don’t really have any fiber (psst… ever wonder why white carbs make you constipated?).
Complex carbs on the other hand contain three or more sugars and are linked in chains that take longer to break down in digestion. Complex carbs are also not nearly as processed as white carbs so not only do they contain vitamins and minerals but they also contain fiber! Complex carbs can also be found in vegetables and dark leafy greens.
My favorite example is to look at a grain of rice. A grain of brown rice has a few layers: the hull on the outside, the bran, the germ (where a majority of the nutrients are), and the sugary inside– the endosperm. A grain of white rice in essentially just the sugary inside layer. What this means for your body is, when you eat white rice, your body goes, “OOH, sugar!” We get a burst of energy and then are dropped like a hot potato. With brown rice, you body first has to process the outer layers. What this means for your body is, not only do you get all those nutrients, but it also takes a LOT longer for your body to process. This means more sustained energy and more sustained fullness!
My advice? Pick up a grain from the store: Brown rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat. Cook up a batch at the beginning of the week and toss it in your fridge. Add a scoop to salads, to wraps, toss in some veggies and eat them as is! It’s a great way to fill you up, get your nutrients, and sustained energy in your day. I recommend consuming your grains earlier in the day (breakfast or lunch) to give your body time to process them.
Get more delicious nutrition quick tips from Jennie here!