- Meredith Evangelisti
Carbs...they are our friends!
Updated: Apr 13
CARB.....it was at one point one of "those" 4 letter words.
When most people hear this word they think only about Starchy Carbs: crackers, pastas and bread. BUT all veggies, fruits and even legumes fall into the carb category. AND carbs are our friends!! There was a huge low carb fad for a while where people ate very carb restricted diets in hopes to lose weight. I am not saying this type of diet is not good for some people, but when you are participating in an exercise program such as Shape Up you want to be sure you have ample energy.
Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. What's most important is the quality of the carbohydrate.
Good quality sources of carbohydrates are unprocessed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans.
This type of carbohydrate promotes good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients. If you are in my Shape Up program refer to the Fruits, Veggies and Starchy Carbs list for more good quality options.
You may be wondering why the timing of the Starchy Carbs is important. In my Shape Up program I suggest the first meal of the day and post workout meals include Starchy Carbs:
For the morning meal you have just spent 6-8 hours (hopefully you are all getting your beauty sleep) fasting while you were asleep. You need this portion of Starchy Carb to help satiate you, help you feel full and at this point your glucose tolerance is at its highest.
For the post workout meal your body is primed and ready to absorb these nutrients back in for recovery and energy replenishment.
WHY fruits only in the am?? I suggest fruit in the morning only because fruit is made up of both glucose and fructose. The glucose portion is great, it helps fuel the body, its the fructose portion that can be problematic if consumed in a high volume. It can actually lead to increased cravings, increased bacterial growth in your gut and can lead to inflammation among other things. Also, because it is higher in sugar, eating it earlier in the day gives you the time to use it as energy as opposed to storing it as fat.