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The Complex World of Carbohydrates: Unraveling the Conundrum

“Once you pop, you cannot stop.”

This slogan sounds all too familiar to those with a solid crisp history. Many of us have a deepened love for those wavy delectable pick-me-ups. Just pop the lid and dig into the perfectly layered slices of potato with a multitude of flavours. Add a beer to the equation to replenish the demand for fluid, and a chilled evening at home unfolds. 

Sounds about right? 

It is merely an example of how too many of my evenings once were. The search for a temporary solution in the form of food while disengaging my mind from work and replenishing my body swiftly.

The scenario described above may still be on your agenda when relaxation and unwinding are what one craves. However, the caveat does not lie in the fact that we all need to unwind. It is how quickly we turn to comfort food to create a relaxed atmosphere, with our feet up and a remote in hand.

Carbohydrates have received a bad reputation due to their association with these types of foods. The negative consequences of consuming these foods too frequently are well-known. Over the past few decades, we have become habitual eaters by nature. Our environment, the time and place, and our emotional state often lead us to reach for sweets and snacks as a permanent fixture in our daily lives.

At a particular time, we feel the need to have something to chew on. What better way to satisfy this craving than by indulging in something our minds adore and that is deeply ingrained in our DNA? Additionally, the snack industry is well aware of what humans tend to prefer. The food industry understands the ingredients that go into crisps and sodas to maximize consumption to commercial perfection.

Consequently, we frequently and habitually ignore our need for quality foods in favor of a short-term fill-me-up.

Carbohydrates are one of the three main macronutrients (alcohol is the fourth one, but it is not preferred for obvious reasons, so I tend not to include it in the mix). There are better and lesser carbs to choose from in your meals. I do not label these as “bad” or “good” because it is a simplistic view.

Simple carbohydrates, like the example of crisps, are calorie-rich snacks that are stripped of almost all nutrients and provide little to no benefits to our bodies. These manufactured snacks are tailored to appease our taste buds beyond our imagination. We can consume large quantities of these carbs without feeling truly full. By the time we finish a bag, our snack may have replaced a full meal in terms of caloric intake. Have you ever wondered why this happens with processed foods and, to a lesser extent, with whole foods?

It certainly makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

I will set aside the feelings of guilt or the queasy sensation that may come afterwards.

When transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle, where there is little to no regular movement and as little as 1000 steps a day recorded on your mobile, it can have an impact on your health markers. Many people consider simple carbs to be catalysts for belly fat. However, it is important to note that we still need them as they are one of the primary sources of energy for our brain, nervous systems, and heart muscles.

Carbohydrates are classified as macronutrients because they are required in larger quantities by our bodies. However, it is advisable to consume fewer simple carbs and focus more on complex ones.

Understanding the differences between various carbohydrate sources can be helpful in incorporating them into your lifestyle without having to cancel activities like movie nights with your loved ones.

There is no such thing as a bad carbohydrate | Don Kardong

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