When it comes to talking about carbohydrates; some people run away scared like it is the black plague. Why is this?

What makes some people so fearful of an extremely valuable macronutrient?

There is no doubt that carbs have gained a bad reputation recently and have been pointed to as the “blame” for people not achieving the health, energy levels and bodyshape they desire.

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What is a complex carbohydrate?

Complex carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in long, complex chains. These carbs are found in foods such as whole grains, potatoes, rice, beans, etc.

It’s important to understand that both simple and complex carbs are turned to glucose (blood sugar) in the body and used in cells of the body and in the brain. Glucose that isn’t immediately utilized is stored as glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscle for later use.

A benefit of complex carbs is that they provide vitamins, minerals and fiber that are important to health. It’s wise to choose the majority of you carbs from complex carbs (starches) and naturally occurring sugars, rather than processed (refined) sugars, which lack nutritional value and are empty calories.

What are the best complex carbohydrates?

It’s important to understand that carb selection is just one of the three macronutrients you need to think about when putting a meal together.

The other two macronutrients are protein and fat and need to be combined with the right carbohydrates at the right time.

Carbohydrate selection has an important effect on insulin and can really make or break results from exercise training. It is important to understand that the right carbs at the right time can enhance body composition changes noticeably.

In order to take the confusion and guesswork out of carb selection, we just classify carbs into two basic groups: high-energy and low-energy sources.

This very simple and clear distinction encompasses all the research on carbohydrate metabolism such as glycemic index, glycemic load, food processing, insulin function, etc.

complex carbohydrates foods_2Better choices of carbs

When people think of complex carbohydrates foods, they think of bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. Most people choose wheat-based carbohydrates (i.e. breads and past) as their go to choice for complex carbs.

Although these are complex carbs and do the job of restoring glycogen after exercise, there are some better choices that are more nutritious and correspond much better with our biology.

The following premium whole grains should be staple carb choices and replace the whole wheat products as much as possible.

Premium whole grains such as amaranth, quinoa, brown rice, steel-cut and rolled oats, barley, spelt, rye, buckwheat, and millet. These premium whole grains are very easy to make and takes no longer than cooking rice.

Conclusion

Carbohydrate selection controls blood glucose response and insulin levels and can really make the difference in body composition when engaging in exercise.

You will feel much better with enhanced energy levels and appearance when you start increasing these premium whole grains in your diet.

It’s important to note that these premium whole grains are high energy carbs and energy dense, so the timing of these is important.

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