It’s a new year and new goals are being set. If one of your resolutions is to loose some extra pounds you may be considering to go carb free. The popularity of no carb or lower carb diets has grown over the years, but we’ve noticed many patients don’t understand what a carbohydrate really is. Let us help break it down for you.
Carbohydrates are broken into three macronutrients: fiber, sugars and starches.
There are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs- sugars and starches- are used by the body as an important source of energy, being released quickly. They can be naturally occurring or processed (think fruit vs candy). Complex carbohydrates- fiber- take more time for the body to break down being released slowly over time (think whole grains and legumes).
When ‘watching’ your carbs you want to look for lower added sugars for your healthiest choices. Luckily, the FDA has mandated that by July 2018 all nutrition labels must clearly identify the amount of added sugars per serving in the product, directly beneath the total sugar count. In general carbohydrates are not bad for you to consume- it’s the unnatural sugars you want to keep an eye on as they can lead to elevated blood sugar, digestive issues and high blood pressure.
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