Thứ Sáu, 31 tháng 7, 2015

Factor Five: Get Your Complex Carbs

The poor old carbohydrate has gotten a bad rap. Over recent years, low carb diets have been touted as the solution to rapid weight loss. Believing that curbing the carbs will force the body to draw on their fat stores for energy, millions of people have extremely restricted their total carb intake while actually eating more fatty foods. For most of them, the fat stays where it is while their body starts eating into their muscle stores for that essential energy. It’s about time that the carbohydrate started getting the respect it deserves. Maybe then people will begin to be able to eat their carbs in a manner that promotes leanness and health – as well as muscle gain.

Carbs Promote Anabolism

Carbohydrates are complex sugar molecules that promote the release of insulin. Insulin is a potent anabolic hormone that transports amino acids into the muscle cell, to be utilized for repair and regrowth of the muscle. So, even if you are getting all the protein you need, without quality complex carbs, that protein will be a huge stack of coal sitting at the train depot – it won’t have a transport system to get it into the muscle.

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel source. The body can also use protein and fat for fuel but these macronutrients are far less efficient at providing the body with the energy it needs. All the carbs that you eat end up in your blood as glucose or blood sugar. Yet not all carbs are equal.

Simple VS Complex Carbs

The two broad categories of carbs are simple and complex. Simple carbs are made up of either a single sugar molecule or two sugar molecules linked together. They provide very little in the way of vitamin or mineral content. They are easily digested by the body and provide an immediate energy boost. This leads to an increase of the release of insulin in the pancreas. The insulin does the job of clearing the glucose from the bloodstream with the result that weak, low in energy and hungry. This leads to a repeat cycle of binging on more simple carbs and the whole process starts over. Simple carbs are not your friend.

Complex carbs are made up of many molecules and are known as polysaccharides. The majority of them consist of fiber. In contrast with simple carbs they provide a consistent, slow release of energy into the bloodstream. Complex carbs are nutritionally dense, being packed with vitamins and minerals. Complex carbs include starchy and fibrous vegetables as well as grains. Fiber is essential to efficient bodily function as it provides bulk for the intestinal contents, aids in digestion and the elimination of waste and helps ward of digestive tract disease and colon cancer. In addition, fiber can help you to lose body fat. Because they are so low in calories, you can eat a lot of them without impacting on your calorie count. The smart person, then, will use fibrous carbs to add bulk to their meals so that they aren’t eating too many calorie dense starchy carbs and proteins. Eating a starchy carb AND a fibrous carb at each meal will provide an ideal macronutrient mix.

Rather than staying away from carbs all together, the person who is interested in a balanced, sensible fat loss nutritional program will focus on eating natural, unprocessed carbs. She will reduce refined, processed carbs as much as possible. White sugar and white flour products should be on the ‘no go’ list.

Fruit Facts

Fruit provides natural sugars in the form of fructose. Fructose has been blamed as a fat stimulator and many people avoid eating fruit as a result. The fructose myth, however, has been well and truly laid to rest by scientific studies and fruit should be an integral part of any sound nutritional plan. A piece of fruit is a great source of vitamins and minerals as well as carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols, all of which promote heart health. Fruits are also high in fiber while being low in total calorie count.

How Many Carbs?

Aim for 50% of your total daily caloric intake from natural carbohydrates. 25 to 35 grams of these carbs should be in the form of fiber. To pack mass onto your frame, you need to be taking in 2 grams of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight. So, if you weight 180 pounds, you’ll need …

180 x 2 = 260 grams of carbs per day

Over the course of six meals, this equates to about 44 grams of carbs per meal. In terms of calories, he should eat 1500 calories per day of carbohydrate, mixed between fibrous and starchy varieties. If he is eating six small meals over the course of the day, he will be ingesting approximately 250 carb calories per meal. Use the following lists to plan out the carb component of your meals.

  • Starchy Carbs:
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yams
  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Brown Rice
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Pumpkin
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Fibrous Carbs:
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms

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