A good diet is balanced around three types of food items : the proteins, the lipids (fat), and the glucids (or carbohydrates). Today we shall go over the latter and shed some light on what is an actual carb.
Following the tremendous response I received from my fellow Steemians on my vision of what a great breakfast should be, I decided to share more on the subject of basic nutrition.
Because, yes? What is a carb anyway?
Carbs = Fuel
Glucids are the fuel to our engine. They provide energy to our muscles and our brain. There are two types of carbs : the simple carbs and the complex carbs. The difference between simple and complex depends on the infamous GI, also known as Glycemic Index. And believe it or not, vegetables are carbs too!
What’s GI and what’s it for ?
The Glycemic Index measures the actual capacity for a particular food item to raise your blood sugar level (aka. Glycaemia). The quicker the blood sugar level rises after eating that food,the higher the GI gets.
When you blood sugar level goes above its average, that’s what we call a sugar rush. Our body will produce Insulin to lower down our glycaemia, and will stock all that sugar as glycogen, to be used later.
The thing is, when there’s no more storage space of glycogen, our body will transform all of that leftover sugar into fat, so it can stock it. That’s why eating lots of high GI food will eventually make you put on weight.
And to not help us in the process, when the insulin does its job trying to salvage the disaster you did put in your system by lowering your blood sugar level, it will then create cravings. Less sugar in your system, so your brain is going “OMG! I need more energy!” Here is the reason why the tub of Pringles usually doesn’t last long.
The simpler the glucids, or carbs, the quicker it gets to the bloodstream, and so can trigger the Insulin production. On the contrary, complex carbs do find it complex to get to the bloodstream fast, so no sugar rush, no insulin, and no cravings. :)
That’s why it’s important to go towards more complex carbs than simple ones, especially if you wanna shed a little weight. You’ll stay fuller for longer. Summer being around the corner, might wanna start taking care of that little belly of yours ;)
To make it simpler for a lot of us, here is a non exhaustive lists of food items classified by GI:
High GI: Potatoes, white bread, over cooked pasta, rice cakes, sweets, dattes
Medium GI: Wholemeal pasta, some fruits (melon, cherries, pineapples, raisins…), white rice, wholemeal bread, milk chocolate
Low GI: Lentils, peas, chickpeas, nuts, peanuts, some fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, oranges, kiwis, grapes, some cereals like bulgur, brown rice, natural muesli, dark chocolate, and all food with low sugar (meat, vegies, fish, eggs, cheeses)
Don’t underestimate the way you eat as well.
If knowing what you put in your mouth is a great thing, check out the way you cook it as well. Highly cooked food has higher GI. So better eat your carrots raw (low GI) than cooked (Medium to High GI).
Also, the more transformed your food is, the higher the GI gets. Let's take brown rice versus rice cake, rather shocking comparison in terms of GI levels. The same goes with your juices and soups. Transformation from solid and raw to cooked and liquid, (think soup) raises the GI quite drastically.
If there is one think to remember from this article, it is to eat whole. The more you eat food which looks like the actual food item (fruits and vegies and meat and fish and grains…) the better you will feel.
First, you need to eat the right things for your body, and it can take a while to figure them out. I have been at it for several years, and some days are better than others, but I do feel better overall.
I’m all about sharing what I know for a better version of you, so if you feel like it COMMENT, FOLLOW, UPVOTES and RESTEEM this article, so the good stuff get used by more and more steemians !!!
Until next time…
The French Londoner
For more of the French Londoner's Back to Food Basics posts :
(DISCLAIMER : Please bear in mind that I am no health practitioner and that all changes to your routine should be done under the supervision of a health or medical specialist.)
(Sources for pics : Unsplash.com)