By: Nick Thomas
There is a very popular opinion right now that carbohydrates are bad, and should be very limited if not cut from daily consumption. While this may achieve a quick weight loss, it is NOT sustainable or a truly healthy choice. Don’t believe the “no carb hype”! The body craves and needs carbs to function properly. The ultimate goal is to lead a healthy life, not just crash diet. When weight is lost, it is usually desired that it STAY gone! If this is to be achieved, a total lifestyle change must be made, not just a temporary diet change.
This does mean that correct carbohydrate choices have to be made. Yes, there is such a thing as the right carbs. Complex carbs are what is needed for daily consumption. They will give the body the right type of fuel without causing the undesirable effects of simple carbs, such as weight gain. Eating a balance of complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes and whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa, allows the body to stay fueled without retaining fat.
There are many benefits to keeping complex carbs in a daily diet. Not only does the body more slowly break down and make use of the complex carbs, which is one of the top benefits, but research has also shown that these carbs promote the production of serotonin, a chemical in the brain which makes you feel good. When serotonin is produced, it helps prevent feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger. Those who deprive their bodies of carbs tend to have more struggles with these emotions.
Another major benefit which is found in these complex carbs is increased fiber intake which actually helps weight loss over time. The soluble-fiber found in carb rich foods also has been found to lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol while providing good (HDL) cholesterol. This all adds up to some major heart benefits.
It is important to choose the complex carbs over the simple ones on a daily basis. Enjoy some simple ones from time to time, but focus on a sweet potato with a touch of sea salt and olive oil, some brown rice or quinoa cooked in chicken broth for extra flavor, and steel cut oats in the mornings. Fueling the body with these complex carbs throughout each day will provide mental clarity and energy to sustain peak functionality, especially during physical activity and/or working out.
For more information regarding a personalized general or sports nutrition plan contact Prime Performance at 423-805-0870.
By: Nick Thomas
owner of Prime Performance Training, and Certified Sports Nutritionist