The Macronutrient with the Bad Reputation

Lose weight, cut carbs. Carbs are harmful to health. Carbs make you fat. Only certain carbs are okay.

With so much negativity surrounding carbohydrates, what’s the real scoop on carbs and how they affect your health and daily eating plan?

Most all the negative stigma comes from the carbohydrate’s impact on insulin levels in the body. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows the body to utilize the sugars from the carbohydrates we eat as energy. Not all carbs are created equal, just as not all carbs have the same effect on the body. Some carbohydrates also include fats and sugars. When carbs include excess or processed sugars, they are more easily stored in the body as fat.

For example, a cookie is considered a carbohydrate that has a lot of sugar and fat. The excess sugar that is not burned as fuel for energy will get stored as fat. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are also carbohydrates and do not have extra processed sugars or fats. Therefore, these are more readily availed sources of energy for the body to burn to keep your energy levels balanced while not being stored as fat.

Carbohydrates can be a healthy, appropriate component of a sensible meal plan. Planning can help you sort through the choices and allow you to shop, cook and pack daily meals with healthy carbs. Look for whole or complex carbohydrate choices such as legumes, vegetables, whole fruit, quinoa, nuts, seeds and other unprocessed options.

Valley Schools believes that a balanced diet is a healthy diet. Diets may affect each body differently, so always talk to your doctor before making any major meal plan changes.

For more information on health and wellness visit our website at www.myvalleyschools.org.

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