I know I eat a lot of carbs like pasta and bread, but recently I have been trying to eat a lot healthier with foods such as eggs, fruit, nuts etc. My carb intake still seems to be really high, and I can't seem to figure out any MEALS that don't have many carbs.
Is eating carbs really that bad for you? And can anyone suggest any foods or meals that don't have too many carbs in them?
All Carbs are not necessarily bad. Most of us try to limit our intake of Simple Carbohydrates like sugar, white grain products (white bread, white rice, processed/packaged foods like crackers and cookies) and potatoes. This class of carbs have no, or very little, fiber and so they digest quickly. The starches and sugars are converted into glycogen which is the fuel our muscle use for energy. The problem is because these digest so quickly our glycogen stores are quickly re-filled. When this happen any additional calories are converted and stored as fat.
Complex carbohydrates like those found in whole grain products, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables digest slower because of the fiber they contain. This provides a steady stream of energy to be converted to glycogen instead of the one ovewhelming onslaught that the same calorie equivalent of simple carbs would provide. The result is that complex carbs are much less likely to be stored as fat than simple carbs.
This is the reasoning behind tracking Net Carbohydrates. Net Carbohydrates are your Total carbs minus fiber which which gives your simple carb count.
My advice is to eat as few simple carbs as possible. Use whole grain bread, pasta, etc.. Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice, and eat more vegetables.
Male, Age 53 Height 5'-11"
Start, Spring 2009....,.. 270.0 lbs
January 21, 2010. ....,...255.0 lbs (Joined Fitday)
September 10, 2010..,..223.8 lbs. (-46.2lbs)
Mini-Goal......................225 Achieved 9/21/2012
Mini-Goal......................220 Achieved 10/26/2012
Current.........................216.2 lbs. (-53.8 lbs)
Yes like what is stated above carbs are essential for you life but too much of them or too much of the wrong kind can be harmful. Try replacing a lot of the pastas and breads you eat with whole wheat replacements to help cut down on the amount of poor carbs you put into your body.
Carbs have vitamins, minerals, and something called phytoestrogens and something called phytosterols. Then there's the fiber, too!
Carbohydrates are basically digestible sugars and no, they are not inherently bad, but they do have negative side effects if your body doesn't use them right away. Things like starch break down into glucose that can spike insulin, increase hunger, and, in cases where it goes very high, can cause damage to blood vessels. Fructose from fruits and sweeteners (like HFCS) gets converted to fat in the liver. Other sugars, like bread sugar or milk sugar, either is not absorbed in the gut, not metabolized, or breaks down in other ways. Carbohydrates themselves don't contain any vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants. Fiber is only technically a carb because it's not metabolized for energy.
More active individuals will typically have higher energy needs and thus could eat more carbohydrates without negative effects.
All the antioxidants and phytochemicals that are found in grains can be found in other sources, such as fruits and vegetables, which is where I prefer to get them.
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.
Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
The carbs found in most green leafy veggies are negligible, so eat up lots of those! I prefer to get the majority of my carbs from fruit & veggies sources. I avoid most starchy carb sources (breads, potatoes, rice, pasta) but if I do eat those I make it a very small amount and make sure to combine it with a protein and fat. That seems to minimize the blood sugar spike.
Carbs are not the enemy, but over eating the processed carbs is unhealthy (ie: if it's made with flours and/or sugars). Your thyroid needs about 25 to 30 grams of carbs per day to operate optimally, so that's about the lowest I would go.