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Carbs have gotten such a bad rep! No wonder there is so much confusion when people talk about carbs. Let me try to clear some of these worries for you by just giving you the cold hard facts. This isn't meant to come across as some sort of science lesson but knowledge is power, and improving your diet is soo much easier when you understand what you are putting into your body and why.
Facts about carbs
If you eat a slice of cake (also loaded with simple sugars) right before you go to bed, your body has no immediate need for the glucose that will be coursing through your bloodstream, so it will store this energy in the liver for a short time. Since you don't require large amounts of energy in your sleep, your body may convert some of this excess glucose into a more stable form for storage, unfortunately, this is when we convert glucose into fat for later use.
Some diets will say no carbs after 6pm - again this is not the case. Carbs do not make you fat. It is just less likely that you will need to use them for energy. It is also good not to eat too close to bed time.
Carbs can be very nutritious as well as being a great energy source. What would make us 'fat' is if we eat more carbs (or anything else) than our bodies need to keep us going. If you eat in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet you will not gain fat but you will be able to power through your workout and you will tone up and get lean.
Some people avoid things like white potato's because they fear the white carbs and must only eat brown or whole grains. Now I love wholegrain and brown rice etc but it's nice to have good ol mash once in a while!
Wholegrain carbs have a lower glycaemic load (Gl) which basically means they don't cause your blood sugar levels to spike as much as white carbs. The thing is after a tough workout, your body loves high Gl foods.
In conclusion, everyone needs different levels of carbs. Try eating them as unrefined as possible. Choose whole-grains for the majority of the time but don't be scared of choosing other carbs especially after a workout. The more "whole" a food is, the less opportunity people have had to add refined sugars and additives to it.
I hope this has answered any questions you had about carbs and why we definitely need them in our diet!
If you have any more questions - pop them below in the comments >
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