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  • Writer's picture Jeff Bahrenfuss

Things to know about Carbohydrates

They’re one of three types of food that give your body energy. The other two are proteins and fats. Together, they provide the fuel your body uses to build and repair itself. Carbs break down into glucose (sugar) that you can use right away.

Your body’s Fuel

Your body runs on glucose. Your brain, in particular, needs it to work the way it should. Carbohydrates are an almost instant source of it. Your body can break down and use fat for some of the same needs, but not all of them. Plus, fat that’s used for fuel makes compounds called ketones that can raise the level of acid in your blood, and that can be unhealthy over the long term.

Preworkout Carbohydrates

Because carbs are a source of energy, they can keep you going strong while you exercise. Experts recommend fueling up 1 to 3 hours beforehand with a combination of carbs and protein, like oatmeal, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, or nuts and raisins.

There are Two Types of Carbohydrates Complex and Simple

Storage Tank

Before your body turns leftover glucose from carbs into fat, it stores what it can in your liver in the form of glycogen. This keeps your body going between meals. But your liver can only keep a day’s worth or so at a time.

Complex Carbohydrates- (The GOOD Carbohydrates)

Dairy Products

· Low-fat yogurt

· Skim milk

Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes

These snacks tend to be classified as "high carb." However, this is an instance of "good carbs" where you'll find they're filling, low in sugar, and provide energy:

· Lentils

· Kidney beans

· Chick peas

· Split peas

· Soy beans

· Pinto beans

· Soymilk

Whole Grains

Whole grains are complex carbohydrates that are not only filling but also nutrient-packed. Here are some of the healthiest options:

· Buckwheat

· Brown rice

· Corn

· Wheat

· Barley

· Oats

· Sorghum

· Quinoa

Fruits and Vegetables

Although certain fruits have high levels of natural sugar, they're still a healthier substitute than some of our favorite carb-ridden snacks. Here's a sampling of fruits and vegetables that contain complex carbohydrates:

· Potatoes

· Tomatoes

· Onions

· Okra

· Dill pickles

· Carrots

· Yams

· Strawberries

· Peas

· Radishes

· Beans

· Broccoli

· Spinach

· Green beans

· Zucchini

· Apples

· Pears

· Cucumbers

· Asparagus

· Grapefruit

· Prunes

Simple Carbohydrates -(Try to AVOID)

-raw sugar brown sugar

· corn syrup and High-Fructose Corn Syrup

· glucose, fructose, and sucrose

-fruit juice concentrate

Foods to avoid

Try to avoid some of the most common refined sources of simple carbs and look for alternatives to satisfy those sweet cravings.

1. Soda

2. Baked treats

3. Packaged cookies

4. Fruit juice concentrate

5. Breakfast cereal

Note: I understand you are not going to be perfect when it comes to following your diet. (I know I am not perfect) The important thing is that you stay as consistent as possible to achieve the health/fitness goals you have set.

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