I bloody love these sort of memes don’t you? but they do highlight ONE thing. There are a lot of anti carbohydrate memes out there and a lot of people still fear carbs, even more so now we have a huge dumb ASS Keto movement.
So lets turn the table and start showing some love for whole food carbohydrates and talk about WHY you shouldn’t takes these off the table so quick.
Carbohydrates get a good old kicking from the Keto crew and main stream media.
Some not so well informed athlete’s and people on a health kick or fat loss journey tend shun them because of their mystical fat gaining properties.
They really aren’t that magical.
Carbohydrates and protein have 4 calories per gram compared to fat which has 9 calories per gram. Carbohydrates have anywhere between 10 and 15% more thermogenic effect of food than fats which has 0%.
Hrmm, per gram fat is higher in calories? Maybe carbohydrates aren’t the issue?
Problem is carbohydrates get a lot of bad publicity. I get it, it’s hard to believe in something while all around are saying you shouldn’t.
But maybe we should stop, think and start fighting in carbohydrates corner.
You see, whole food carbohydrates have a lot of healthful benefits.
You only have to look at the nutritional list of the whole food carbohydrates and their benefits to help you gain even more confidence in them.
Nutrition Benefits of Rice:
* Magnesium = Works with calcium in the muscle for maximal contraction. Required for blood clotting, regulation of blood pressure and bone health.
* Phosphorus = Helps build teeth, bones, part of phospholipids which carry lipids in blood and shuttle nutrients in and out of cells.
* Manganese = Helps form bones, metabolise amino acids and carbohydrates.
* Selenium = An antioxidant that neutralises unstable molecules that damage cells. Helps regulate thyroid hormone.
* Iron: Improves the ability of red blood cells and myoglobin to carry oxygen. Required for making amino acids, hormones and neuro transmitters.
* Folic acid = Vital for cell creation and red blood cell creation.
* Thiamine = Critical for nerve function. Needed for healthy skin, hair, muscles and brain. Helps convert food into energy.
* Niacin = Essential for healthy skin, hair blood and brain. Helps convert food into energy.
* Fiber = Improves bowel movement, blood sugar regulation, reduces LDL cholesterols.
* Vitamin B6 = Helps make red blood cells, influences immune function, helps covert tryptophan to niacin and serotonin that play key roles in promoting sleep, appetite and mood.
Nutrition Benefits of Potato, White and Sweet
* Vitamin C = Important for immune function, development and repair of body tissues and iron absorption.
* Fiber = See above
* Vitamin B6 = Maintains healthy metabolism, nerve function important for skin and eye health.
* Iron = See above
* Magnesium = See above
* Phosphorus = See above
* Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B6) = Helps make lipids, neurotransmitters, steroid hormones and hemoglobin.
* Copper = Plays a critical role in iron metabolism, immune system and helps make red blood cells.
* Niacin (B3) = See above
* Folate (B9) = See above
* Riboflavin = Needed for healthy skin, hair blood and brain. Helps convert food into energy.
* Vitamin A = A powerful antioxidant, critical for neurological function and healthy skin.
That’s a fantastic list of good nutrients that you’re taking off the table when you limit or cut out these foods.
So why do whole food carbohydrates get such a bad rap?
Well I think people just don’t know the nutritional value of whole food carbohydrates and they focus on main stream dogma such as.
“Carbs after 6pm make you fat!”
Which is HILARIOUS and utter nonsense.
Let me ram it home.
** Over eating calories makes you fat! **
The fact is 1g of carbohydrate = 4 calories, 1g of protein = 4 calories, 1g of fat = 9 calories.
Hrrmm, you do the math’s.
Thing is when you eat carbohydrates they can pull in-between 4/5g of water into your cells for every 1g of carbohydrate.
You’ll have to do more math’s now.
Its’ why people panic the day after they eat a higher carbohydrate meal and report that they’ve gained a monumental amount of fat.
They haven’t of course, its water weight, which won’t last long. No need to panic!
Whole food Carbohydrates are healthful in other ways too.
They have resistant starch (RS) properties. Potatoes cooked and then cooled increase this (RS) profile. (RS) produce short chain fatty acids which can fuel healthy gut bacterial colonies that may even decrease inflammation in the colon.
They contain a lot of fiber that helps control blood sugar and reduce LDL cholesterol (The bad kind)
And here’s something that a lot of dieters don’t know.
When you’ve been eating low on calories and carbohydrates for a LONG time your Thyroid and metabolic output is severely locked down.
The best way to drive Thyroid up is to, yep you guessed it eat more calories and increase carbohydrates (NB it’s ironic that the one thing that’s demonized by dieters is the one thing that can help them get a stronger thyroid output)
So, to warp up.
* Whole food carbohydrates are a good healthful macronutrient to include in your diet. They provide energy and can promote health.
* Exercise carbohydrate moderation in meals especially when a lot less active. Why? Because it helps us control blood sugar levels which is good for overall health.
* Raise carbohydrate quantity at times of higher caloric expenditure through exercise. This will quickly replace lost glycogen to promote good recovery and consistent, powerful training.
* Finally don’t demonise or fear carbohydrates, they are not magical entities.
Thanks for reading
Simon de Burgh
2 X Winner of Gym Based PT
Level 2 British Triathlon Coach
Performance & Nutrition Director