The secret to a healthy diet is no secret. It is all in the balance and in finding out what works for your body; not all bodies are made the same. Whenever you think of a new diet change, please consult with your doctor to ensure you are getting all the proper nutrients to keep you healthy and strong.
It is crucial to know that a healthy lifestyle is more than just exercise; after all, we are what we eat. Our meals are composed of 3 essential elements, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Carbs tend to have a bad reputation due to the widespread myth that their intake produces weight gain. However, carbohydrates are also essential for life, so if you want to know how to improve your health by making a few small changes in your diet, keep reading.
Carbs, What Are They?
Carbohydrates are macronutrients and are one of the three main ways by which our body obtains its energy. They are called carbohydrates as they are made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen at their chemical level. Carbohydrates are essential nutrients and include sugars, fibres, and starches.
Sugars: These are the simplest and fastest molecules to consume. They can be added to food as sugar in sweets or processed foods. They are also found naturally in fruits, vegetables and milk.
Fibre: it is a carbohydrate compound that, for the most part, cannot be absorbed by the body. Consuming fibre not only helps you feel more satiated but intervenes in other essential processes such as digestion, facilitating intestinal passage or helping lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Fibre can be found in legumes, fruits, vegetables, wholemeal flours and nuts.
Starch: they are complex carbohydrates made up of many simple sugars attached closely to each other. The body then needs to break the molecules down to use in their simplest form as energy. Pasta, cereals and bread have starch.
Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet
Unlike popular belief, carbohydrates aren't bad per se. In fact, we need some levels of carbs as, for example, fibre can help lower cholesterol levels and help with constipation.
It is all about choosing the right carbs to make your body happy. Complex carbohydrates, for example, contain high levels of dietary starch and are also usually rich in fibre. They are digested slowly by the body, releasing energy over a long time. As complex carbohydrates are typically found in plant sources, they are also high in vitamins and minerals.
As complex carbohydrates are digested slowly, they help you to feel fuller for longer. This reduces the urge to snack between mealtimes, which we all know is our downfall, and can lead to weight gain. Additionally, as the energy is released slowly, your blood sugar level becomes more stable. Dips and surges in blood sugar cause cravings for sugary foods, so if these are avoided by eating complex carbs, the chances of you sneaking away a few sweet treats diminishes.
Quinoa, legumes and whole grains are an excellent source of complex carbs and a good way to get you started. You don't need to sacrifice every meal. Just make sure you adapt your macros and consume less simple carbs.
However, before you start reducing your carbohydrate rations, it would be advisable to consult your doctor or nutritionist, as we all need different daily caloric intakes to function correctly.
Remember to Keep Active!
A healthy lifestyle is a commitment to yourself. Make small daily changes that will create long term sustainable habits to lead you into a healthier you. At Curves, we can help you get started and guide you in your wellness journey. Find your nearest club today, and find out how you can also be part of the Curves community. In the club, at home or from the app, Curves anytime, anywhere! We're waiting for you!