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The Carb Question

By Tom Herrin

If we wonder about what to eat in order to sustain the best health possible, we may have some pretty legitimate questions.  For those into weight loss, cutting carbs may be a big part of a good plan.  For those who may be diabetic, watching those carbs is essential.  Understanding more about carbs may save us some grief as well as help us to be healthier.  Some break this down into simple and complex carbs while some look at other things.  Even those who believe they can starve themselves from carbs have to have some way to produce energy.  A few programs now try to burn fat for energy, but it is tough to get away from carbs.

What Is Meant by Simple?

While carbs are often divided into two groups, it can be helpful to understand what they mean.  In general, when we refer to simple carbs.  They can go quickly into the bloodstream as sugar.  At one time, people thought they could get a sugar rush that would give them lots of instant energy by eating or drinking something that is high in sugar.  One study indicated that something else was happening.  Rather than providing that quick boost in energy, these sugars actually drained us of energy.  That is, there was a lull in energy a little while after we consumed the sugar.  This gave the feeling that we had an energy lift, but we actually ran out of energy after a while.

Complex Carbs

The carbs that most of us use for sustained energy are called complex carbs because they are just that.  It takes a little more to break these down into energy.  For the most part, we want more of these.  While some of them may seem to contain lots of calories, much of this is in the form of foods that are high in fiber.  This can do a couple of things.  One is to make us feel fuller.  Eating foods that contain good fiber may help us to avoid feeling hungry for a longer period of time.  The fiber may also help with digestion.  Non-soluble fiber can help solid materials to move through our digestive system more efficiently.  Choosing foods that have some really good complex carbs can be really healthy.  These include beans, peas, greens, yellow vegetables, etc.

Juice or Fruit?

While you may have thought there was no real difference between whole fruit and juice, the difference can be significant in that juice often has lots more sugar and less fiber.  If you are really into trying to have the healthiest meal possible, you may want to grab  piece of fruit instead of downing a glass of juice.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lone Tree, Colo.

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