Sugars are carbs. But carbs are not created equal.
Your body does not see carbs as just – table sugar. In fact, there’s a lot more to it. Our body needs carbohydrates and are healthy to consume!
So which carbohydrates to do want to make sure we are getting into our diet? Fiber and complex carbohydrates – they are digested much different than table sugar.
We would miss out on countless nutrients (or need to supplement – whole foods are always better!) from foods like fruit, beans, dairy, etc if we tried to avoid any sugar. Staying away or limiting added or artificial sugars can, however, be beneficial for our overall health.
The Science Behind Eating Carbs
When you eat carbs, they break down into a usable form of energy called glucose. While in your bloodstream, glucose fuels your muscles to power you through a workout. Glucose from carbs is either used for (1) immediate energy, supplying to the blood to regulate blood sugar levels (2) store in your muscle, liver or fat cells for later.
Insulin is required to store glucose. Your body will release insulin after you eat! Insulin helps gather glucose and supply it to your cells for storage. Because this process includes storing glucose in your fat cells, it is often confused with gaining body fat. It is important to note that the insulin response = muscle gain too!
Eating carbs alone will not make you gain weight or body fat. In fact, under normal circumstances, dietary fat is much more likely to be stored as fat over any other macronutrient especially in a calorie surplus. Weight gain has only been shown to occur if calorie intake exceeds caloric needs. If the quality of your carbohydrate is poor and you are lacking nutrients because of this. It may cause you to overeat and have excessive caloric intake.
Our bodies favor glucose because it is the fastest way to get energy to our cells. Fat and protein take much longer to get broken down into a similar state.
This may lead some to believe that cutting carbs from your diet can also help you restrict energy or cause your body to burn more energy digesting the calories you eat – but this has yet to be proven. Your body is excellent at compromising and adapting. It is difficult to take one single bodily process. There are many other driving factors – the billions of other bodily processes that occur each day. In other words, metabolizing food is just not that simple. Changing one thing often causes a series of chain reactions in your body that help you to maintain internal regulation.
Eliminating a food group, or trying to manipulate our body’s natural processes – is not as simple as it sounds. We need to focus on getting good quality foods into our diet, foods that we enjoy eating, and foods that are available to us.
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