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Carbohydrates 101

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

We all know not to eat too much sugar. We know we shouldn't eat too much candy, cookies, cakes, sweets. What a lot of people don't know is that carbohydrates are just complex molecules of sugar that, when digested, get broken down into simple sugars and act exactly the same in your body. This means that carbs are likely just as harmful to you as those sweets.


So, what are carbs? I believe that there is such a thing as a good carb. Things like broccoli, kale, cauliflower. All of these things have carbs in them but they also have a ton of fiber and the body digests them in such a way that they don't cause spikes in your blood sugar. Bad carbs on the flip-side, cause massive spikes in your blood sugar which, over time, will wreak havoc on your body and lead to weight gain.





Bad carbs are things like Breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, sweets, grains. These foods cause massive spikes in your blood sugar when digested. Let's think about typical breakfast foods; cereals, bagels, toast, oatmeal. We were raised to think that we should be eating these foods to get the energy we need to start the day and they were healthy for us. WRONG. Cereal companies basically invented the concept of breakfast and guess what, our society became sicker and fatter. Are they the only culprit, no, of course not, but they sure are one of the many pieces of the puzzle that have led to our obesity epidemic.


How do you know if your food has carbs? Look at the label and see. If there is no label, just look online and search. Fun fact: if the food only has one ingredient (i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, steak, fish) it is probably ok for you. If it has a massive list of ingredients, some of which you can't pronounce and was made in a factory, it's probably not good for you.


Some of the negative effects of sugar:

-inflammatory

-weight gain

-poor sleep

-spikes glucose which spikes insulin which, in the long term, leads to a whole host of diseases like diabetes, PCOS, infertility, cancer and dementia (to name a few).


Why am I focusing on carbs here? Because they may very well be your biggest obstacle to weight loss. Stay tuned for more articles and maybe even a video or two on how sugar affects your body.


Be Well,

Dr. Sweeney

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