Ever wonder why you have cravings for those dough nuts, bread or for all those sweet goodies? It could very well be because you are eating far too much of those sugary foods in the first place.
Refined carbohydrates seem to have quite a bad impact on our bodies yet we ingest them so freely and easily.
What are refined carbohydrates? They are essentially forms of processed and man made carbohydrates. Anything processed with so many different ingredients (check out the previous article called the secret ingredient). Sugars also form part of refined carbohydrates. Fat doesn’t make you fat. But the sugar that turns into fat will.
So here are a few examples:
- Baked goods made with dough
- Pizza (check out our Healthy Homemade Pizza alternative)
So basically when you ingest these types of carbohydrates alone, your body releases insulin to transport all the carbohydrates and use them for energy.
These forms of carbohydrates compel the body to release much more insulin much quicker than normal because they are digested more rapidly than other foods. Now if your body does not need them for energy (say if you are sitting in front of the TV eating a box of biscuits) or for any other bodily functions they will end up being stored as fat.
This is quite a basic explanation but hopefully it gets the point across. Another bad side of these ‘sweet’ foods is that the more you eat of them, the more you will crave them.
So by cutting them out completely you have a greater control over what your body craves, and more control over your hormonal (insulin) responses. Now I know it’s tough to just stop eating all these things which we see pretty much everywhere and are so convenient for us, and I mean we are all human and do enjoy a nice sweet treat now and then. But that’s what it should be, NOW and THEN.
Try to slowly cut back on the bad stuff bit by bit, and only have some occasionally. Another good way to avoid eating all the wrong things is to just not buy them and keep them around your house. By not having them in your home it makes it that much easier to stay away from them. One other negative side of these foods is that once you eat them you become hungry very quickly after eating them. That’s why it can be very easy to go ahead and eat a whole box of sweets and still feel hungry.
So what should you be eating instead? Pretty much anything which is not really man made in a sense that it has not been tampered with and a lot of other ingredients and substances added to it.
A few examples include:
- Sweet potatoes
The above examples of carbohydrates get absorbed and digested a lot slower than the previous list we had a look at it. Granted in fruit there is still some sugar in the form of fructose, but all of the above digest slower due to having fibre and/or protein in them. So when they are consumed your body releases a less amount of insulin and at a slower rate, thus allowing them to take longer to be digested and therefore supplying you with a more constant supply of energy as opposed to a quick spark of energy followed by a dip in energy levels.
Plus they have a lot more natural vitamins and nutrients which will be readily absorbed by your body and can aid you with preventing and treating so many diseases out there. Your cravings will also be greatly reduced if you stick to a diet with more of these carb sources than the previous ones and you will remain fuller for longer.
Now there are other factors which come into play with regards to how fast or slow carbohydrates are digested, and when you want to take advantage of the slow or quick absorbing types. Such as:
What other foods you eat them with
If you add protein or fat to a meal of carbohydrates the rate at which the meal is digested is slowed due to the protein and/or fat content, as these types of food take a little bit longer to digest. So if you must eat quick absorbing carbohydrates, be sure to add some protein and/or good fats to the meal. But try to at ALL times and at ALL MEALS to include some form or protein.
When you eat them
Timing can be very important when it comes to eating certain foods. For instance some people can get away with eating these quicker absorbing carbs before and after they workout. The reason behind this is that taking them in before a workout can provide you with energy needed to get through your training, especially if you plan to train for long. I personally prefer a more solid source such as sweet potatoes or rice before training as it will keep you fuller for longer as well as provide you with more energy during your workout. The reason for ingesting them after a workout is to replenish your body’s reserves which have been depleted and to shuttle nutrients quickly to your muscles (e.g. after an intense weight training session).
So the main thing here to remember is to always add protein to every meal and you can also add all sorts of vegetables to them to increase the fibre and nutrient content to slow digestion. And try to make better carbohydrate choices and avoid most of those packaged goods in the aisle up to the tills in grocery stores!