I always get asked about whether carbs are “good” or “bad.” Good quality carbs (fruits, grains, healthy starches, etc) are excellent for our health! Let’s break it down and start with the basics:
What is a carbohydrate?
- Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Upon digestion, carbohydrates are converted into glucose in order to be used as fuel in your cells, tissues, and organs.
- fruits and starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, corn, and winter squash)
- bread, cereal, and other grains
- milk and milk products
- foods containing added sugar (cakes, cookies, sweetened drinks, etc)
Why do we need carbs?
- Carbohydrates are a major nutrient our body needs. It is our brains preferred source of fuel and is vital for muscle fueling/recovery, concentration, balancing your mood, etc.
Focus on quality!
- Good quality carbs are important to our health and offer a ton of nutrients that would be challenging to get enough of through other foods.
- Fruits are vegetables are full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- Grains offer B vitamins, fiber, and trace vitamins (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium).
- Milk gives us the obvious calcium and Vitamin D, but also offers your remaining fat soluble vitamins (A, E, K) in addition to phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.