Denizens, I’m coming to you today to talk about something that gets on my nerves. The demonization of all things carbohydrate has to stop. We need to set the record straight on a few things that have been said about carbohydrates that don’t necessarily do them justice. Sure, there are definitely some bad sides to carbs, and we’ll cover that. But there’s also some really amazing and essential information that everyone needs to know to make sure that they aren’t automatically passing over some really nutrient rich, healthy foods just because they bare the burden of being called a ‘carb’.
First, it’s important to realize that carbs are not all the same. There are different forms of carbohydrate that come from very different sources. Essentially carbohydrates can be broken down into two categories: simple (sometimes called ‘refined’) and complex.
Are the ones with the bad rap. Carbohydrates from things like white bread, white or brown sugar, white pasta, white rice, fruit juice, flour tortillas, white pastas, plenty of cereals and all kinds of baked goods have this nasty habit of turning into simple sugars when they’re ingested by the body. These simple sugars in turn spike insulin levels, which lowers blood sugar, and causes you to feel hungry again. Simple carbs do this because they’re easily digested. They pass through the body quickly because they have almost no nutritional substance. The fiber has been stripped from simple carbs during whatever refining process they’ve gone through –along with essential vitamins, minerals and a host of other micro nutrients– leaving the refined gluten (what gives white bread it’s soft, sponge-like texture). Now, I am absolutely not advocating or discouraging someone from a gluten-free diet, –that decision needs to be made on an individual basis with a qualified health provider. It’s a whole other topic. What is clear is that simple carbs will cause you to be hungrier more often and most definitely do not have any of the nutritional value their complex counterparts have.
Are carbs from sources like fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, lentils, peanuts) that have much more complex sugars than their refined cousins. They have their fiber, vitamins, minerals and a whole other list of micro-nutrients left intact, so they are much more nutritionally rich. Complex carbohydrates provide our body with glucose, a great source of energy and essentially the brain and nervous system’s only source of fuel. Starve yourself of glucose, and you really are robbing the body from a source of fuel it depends on. Complex carbohydrates also take longer to digest. They’ll move through the body more slowly and that means that you’ll stay full for longer after you eat them.
Our Gnarly Feast is designed to give you a balance of complex carbohydrates your body needs for energy from whole food sources that haven’t been tampered with by adding refined sugars or anything else artificial for that matter. It also has the great grass-fed whey protein Gnarly’s known for and it’s a great source of fiber, which means that it’ll keep you feeling full and satiated for much longer than if you downed a glass of orange juice and a blueberry muffin.
Stay tuned for Part II of our coverage on carbs where I talk about some common misconceptions on low carb diets, and what to look for when you’re picking out food to make sure you’re getting a good balance of carbs with your other nutrients.