One of the most frequent questions I get regarding dieting is “Should I cut out all of my carbohydrates”? Immediately, my answer to this question is “NO”. Carbohydrates provide our bodies with energy by being broken down into usable sugar (glucose). Carbohydrates are generally broken down into two types: Complex (usually considered good) and Simple (usually considered bad). Any surplus of either type of these carbohydrates, due to lack of physical activity or non-necessity, will be stored as fat. The argument can be made that “A carb is a carb”. True enough, but the way the previously mentioned carbohydrates are received and affect the body greatly differ. Simple carbohydrates (candy, soft drinks, table sugar, maple syrup to name a few) are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and require a massive “dump” of insulin to try and bring the body’s sugar levels back to normal. This can cause the hit the wall felling often felt after lunchtime. Continued over time this can lead to Hypoglycemia and Type II Diabetes, both which contribute to mood swings and depression. Complex carbohydrates (green vegetables, oatmeal, corn, sweet potatoes, “BRAN” to name a few) are often rich in fiber and cause a much slower rise in glucose levels, thus requiring the body to produce much less insulin. A diet including more complex carbohydrates can help you feel satisfied much longer after a meal and also provide you with sustained energy and focus throughout the day. Based on your activity level and length of time you are awake, your need for carbohydrates will vary. Your metabolism naturally begins to slow down as it prepares to go to sleep, so reducing or avoiding carbohydrates late in the evening is a great way to avoid that carbohydrate fat storage. I highly recommend everyone log onto the USDA ‘s website: Choose My Plate to get great advice on balanced nutrition.

How can you incorporate this advice into your next meal?

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