Ready for a big PSA? Carbs are not your enemy.
Diet culture has done a lot of sh*tty things to us, and one of them is the bad reputation given to carbs that we just can’t seem to shake.
Healthy carbohydrates are essential to fuel your body. They support digestion, boost your mood and support your gut. So, we want to help you heal your relationship with them. Let’s dig in.
What to look for
First things first: not all carbs are created equal.
Refined carbohydrates like white bread, processed snacks or sugary drinks have all of their good fibre and nutrients removed. Without the good stuff in them, these types of carbs can turn into bad stuff pretty quickly.
Refined carbs have little nutritional content, can trigger rapid spikes in blood sugar and don’t do a great job at regulating your appetite.
Whole or complex carbohydrates on the other hand, are much less processed and hold onto their natural fibre and nutrients. Food groups like whole grains, fruits, starchy veggies or legumes contain the good carbs that are rich with health benefits.
Why we love ‘em!
Aside from playing the leading role in every superior meal and hitting that hunger spot every time, here are some of the big reasons why we’re big fans of carbs.
Fuel for energy and movement
Without carbs, you’re like a car on an empty tank.
When you exercise, your muscles rely heavily on carbohydrates as fuel to keep you moving. Carbohydrates break down into glucose, which are then converted to an energy source to power your muscle cells.
This is why runners carb-load the night before a race, or why we like to follow up pizza night with a hot girl walk the next morning. Energy, baby!
Fibre for digestive health
Whole carbohydrates are rich in fibre, a key nutrient to support your digestion. We broke down all the reasons why fibre is important here, but basically: fibre supports regular bowel movements, helps you avoid constipation and nourishes all that good bacteria in your gut.
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are fibre-rich carbohydrate sources, so get ‘em in ya then your body can get ‘em out of ya. Get it?
Mood and gut connection
Our favourite topic. Have you noticed?
A healthy gut microbiome plays a significant role in stabilising your mood and overall well-being. Eating a diverse range of foods helps your gut to thrive, and yep, you guessed it – carbs play a part here too.
Carbohydrates can help to feed the good bacteria in your stomach, and they also support the production of serotonin in the gut. So you know those big smiles you get when knocking back a bowl of pasta? Yep, those smiles won’t go away once your bowl does.
Last, but absolutely not least. Brain power!
Carbohydrates are your brain's preferred source of fuel. Remember how we said carbs get broken down into glucose? The big boss upstairs relies on glucose for optimal cognitive function.
Include complex carbs like whole grains, berries, and legumes to provide your brain with the nutrients it needs to stay sharp and focused.