Don’t starve – nourish. It should be the new dietary mantra.
Macro-nutrients are an important part of that nourishment. They consist of proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fats. These nutrients are provided through your choice of foods. Since each of these nutrients plays a different role in the body, it is important to get the right mix not just for training purposes but for overall healthy promotion as well.
Not regulating your macro-nutrients, could result in very uneven distribution which in turn leads you to suffer with energy lows, muscle mass loss, nutritional deficiencies and so on. This is especially true for those that are undergoing resistance training.
Protein is without doubt, the single most important macro-nutrient in the human diet. And good fats are also an important part of the health equation. But no macro-nutrient demands or gets more attention than the carbohydrate.
There’s always a high amount of controversy swirling around carbohydrate consumption.
The low carb bandwagon has dominated the health sector for a long time and many people still believe that this nutrient is most likely to lead to fat gain. They’ve also been led to believe that carbohydrates are the primary reason for many diseases. In order to be healthy you must cut them.
Although this is partly true, it’s not carbohydrates that are the culprit, it’s the kind of carbohydrate you’re eating that is to blame.
You see, there are “good guys” and “bad guys” in the carbohydrate world. Eat the wrong types of carbs and you’ll be facing weight problems as well as health issues. Eat the right kind of carbs and you won’t have any of that to worry about.
These type of carbs are the “high energy” carbs. They are complex in structure and require more time to break down and digest in the body compared to other carbohydrate sources. These are the “good guy.” You’ll be able to sustain more stable blood glucose levels and won’t experience energy highs and lows that are so damaging and exhausting. The main thing to be aware of is that they are generally higher in calories due to their “complex” nature so you’ll need to be more careful about the volume you consume.
When choosing complex carbs, always opt for the least processed ones available. Less processing means they are healthier and they’ll break down slower overall.
Some healthy examples include:
Sweet potatoes and yams
Brown and wild rice
Oatmeal and buckwheat
Maize, corn, millet, barley, and quinoa
Another area to be aware of is the term “whole grain.” Don’t assume for a second when you see that advertised that it is healthier for you. Although whole grains may not be stripped of their fiber and other nutrients during manufacturing, they are still processed. They are going to break down more quickly and might contain ingredients that are not healthy for the body.
Carbs that have been processed increase blood glucose levels more than those that come straight from the ground.
Increased blood glucose levels cause an increase in blood insulin levels. Keep these levels chronically high and it leads to the dreaded “belly fat.” Whole grains also contain gluten and for some people this can be a huge issue because of gluten intolerance.
These are the carbs that you’ll want to avoid. They’re the “bad guys.” They lead to dramatic blood sugar spiked followed by crashes. They cause insulin levels to shoot sky-high and accelerate the process of stomach fat accumulation.
Make the mistake of eating these carbs and you’ll feel as though you’re on an energy roller coaster with its severe spikes and drops. These carbs are virtually devoid of nutrition and offer nothing to improve your health in anyway.
Simple carbohydrate calories ad up quickly – faster than complex carbohydrates sources. So, no question that you must avoid then as much as possible.
Simple Carbohydrate Examples Include
Low-fat ice cream
Packaged snack foods
One more note about the carbohydrate world…
Fruits are a simple carb. However they supply your body with dietary fiber which is very healthy and slows down the release of carbohydrates overall. It also supplies you with a number of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. All healthy eating plans include fruit.
Be aware that fruit sugars are half glucose/half fructose and fructose is not stored in the muscle cells but in the liver cells. Therefore, fruit is not the ideal post-workout food to help maximize your recovery. You won’t get the muscle glycogen replenishment that you would otherwise, so its best to enjoy fruits at other times of the day. The only exception would be the banana which is actually a great recovery fuel source because of its higher starch component and lower level of fructose.
These types of carbs are found in vegetables and are incredibly important to take in. Nearly all veggies are labelled fibrous carbohydrates. They are low in calories and carbs overall so they have less influence on your blood glucose levels. You can eat then without worry. The dietary fiber in them ensures you avoid all blood sugar spikes and improves your overall health by lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Fibrous carbs can be eaten with most meals but should be avoided before or after training because the bulk they offer may cause cramping.
Veggies such as corn, peas, carrots and potatoes (complex carbs) do contain more carbs and sugars so you’ll have to factor that into your intake.
If you truly want to take command of your life and take that excess weight/fat off permanently, your diet must “clean” in order to support weight and fat loss.
“Reclaim Your Longevity” can help you do just that…
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It’s time to throw away all the false statements you’ve accepted about dieting and exercise and learn what it really takes to stay healthy and fit long into your senior years.