They are not an essential nutrient for our bodies to survive. Plain and simple. We explored the fact that fats are essential because they regulate many of our hormones and have a significant impact on the way our bodies function. Protein is essential for building and repairing cells. But carbohydrates are non essential, they offer no life giving assistance to our bodies.
But that's not to say you shouldn't eat them. Some carbohydrates offer immense value with their nutrient content.
The first and most important range of carbohydrates you need to include is green cruciferous vegetables. I've said it before, I'll say it forever. Green cruciferous vegetables are the carbs you need to be eating. They are made up mostly of fibre, which means it takes so long for the body to digest them that by the time it does, there's nothing left to be shifted off to your bloodstream to be used as calories. Yes, you heard right. Green cruciferous vegetables don't really count for calories! So ladies fill your plates up with broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, Bochy, green beans, celery and cucumber. You can add kale too if you like it 😜
The next best carb to put in your body is other vegetables that are non starchy. Things like capsicum, peas, corn- basically any other vegetable that is not potato or sweet potato!! These vegetables, while they contain sugars, have fibre and nutrients in them that our bodies need to stay healthy. So having them occasionally is good, and always in preference to other carb sources (except green cruciferous!).
After that you want to look at beans, lentils, oats… these slow digesting, low gi foods take a long time to digest, which means less of them will make it to the bloodstream and end up as calories and fats. These will keep you feeling full because they have loads of fibre and, as we've already said, stay in your stomach for longer. Eat these if you can, especially in preference to starchy vegetables and processed carbs.
When it comes to starchy carbs, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, pasta… things like that are going to fill you up, yes. But the starch in them does not stick around in your stomach…it moves pretty quickly into your bloodstream to be transported around your body for fuel, as calories. And because it goes quickly, any excess that your body doesn't use up gets stored as what?
Yes…fat! We know this by now!
So...let's talk about processed carbs. Sugars, bread, chocolate, biscuits, bagels, chips.. anything that has been changed from its natural state. Flour. These are processed carbs and spend most of their time in your bloodstream, to be honest. Pasta and white rice do come under this list too, really. These are the carbs that add to your waistline ladies because most of it goes to your bloodstream and then whatever isn't used up for energy by your cells is stored as fat. So if we are over eating these, putting in more calories than we are burning, then there is likely to be a good amount going to fat stores.
So which carbs should we overeat on? Green cruciferous. It's much harder to eat a whole plate of broccoli (which is going to fill you up and barely touch your bloodstream) than it is to eat a plate of potato chips (which will mostly go to your bloodstream and only somewhat fill you up).
Keep processed carbs for sometimes, special treats. Or… if you want to regularly eat non vegetable carbs? There is one time of the day that is best to do it. And that's right after a heavy weights workout. your cells in your muscles are open and ready to receive energy from your bloodstream, which means more of the calories from carbs will go to good use and not be stored as fat. It's not fool proof, so don't over do it. But if you just can't give up a bowl of pasta once or twice a week… lift heavy weights right before hand. And I mean right beforehand… within an hour. Other than that, try and stay away from them for at least 80-90% of your diet for best results.
If you have any more questions about carbohydrates - or want to try a 4 week meal plan with minimal carbohydrates - hop on our Minus the Menobelly program! Even if you don't have menopause, you will love the low carb, clean eating yet filling foods we have programmed in! Link below.
Alright ladies - chat soon