Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What are 'stripped' carbs anyway?

Carbohydrates -- we love them -- we hate them -- can't decide whether or not to forget about them all together or simply not care and eat every carb imaginable, right? Why do we hear that carbs are bad and therefore we need to go on a 'low-carb diet' or we need to 'carbo-load' before a race? There is a difference between good carbs and bad carbs and I believe most people know this, but regardless a decision for 'all or nothing' seems to be heard by many. 

Roxanne B. Sukol, a preventive medicine specialist and medical director of the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Enterprise believes that people should refer to the refined carbs as 'stripped carbs'. That is, stripped carbs have no nutritional value. 

Interestingly enough, refined carbs start out like whole-grain carbs, but once 'processed' by food makers, they lose their fiber-rich properties. Once this process happens, good healthy choices go out the window. So, as the article points out, clients shouldn't be wary of cutting carbs out of their diet all together, but should just swap out the refined carbs for the whole grain carbs.

Carbohydrates, a macronutrient, serve the body in by providing energy and regulating blood glucose. Ideally, carbs should be used up first as an energy source. That allows for protein to do its job in making hormones and muscles along with other essential tasks. Carbs can only be stored in our bodies on a limited basis as well, hence another reason to have this very important macronutrient in the right amount. So generally speaking, if physically active or wanting to maintain weight, a range of 100-150 grams of carbohydrates a day is good. This all depends on one's health though and certainly it is best to check with a physician before starting any kind of diet.

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