Busting Carb Myths

Busting Carb Myths

When we think about carbs we think of bread, cakes, potatoes and pasta and we definitely don’t think about apples and broccoli...and yet what many people don’t know is it dairy, fruit and vegetables contain naturally occurring carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates get quite a lot of bad press, especially with so many low carb diets being made popular by those looking for fast weight loss. 

But before you ban every carbohydrate from your diet – you should know the facts!

* Carbs are an immunity booster: eating carbs before a workout reduces your chance of sickness by supercharging your levels of cytokines (signalling molecules that regulate immunity).

* Carbohydrates are a chemical compound, and the body’s main source of energy. Unlike protein and fat, carbohydrates are easily digested and broken down into glucose which the body uses for a variety of functions, including energy.

* A carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram and going low carbohydrate is absolutely disastrous for those athletes wanting to build muscle faster, especially natural bodybuilders not hooked on steroids.

* Without enough stored carbohydrate in the muscles, they take on a flat appearance and you lack the energy to train hard. As long as your carbon intake doesn’t overwhelm your energy needs, you do not have to worry about fat gains from carb intake.

* When you mix protein and carbohydrates together in the same meal you minimise the chance of the carbohydrates being stored fat. Protein is harder for the body to process, so it increases your metabolism.

* Typical muscle building carbohydrates that are commonly used to generate lean muscle mass include potatoes, raw oatmeal, fruit, pasta, rice, and bagels.

* Bodybuilders tend to eat a set amount of calories per day. Your protein intake should be between 1.2 and 1.6 grams per pound of body weight daily and that should make up between 17 and 28% of your total calorie intake. The rest of your calories should come from carbs.

* Good carbs such as whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables are called “complex carbs”. Simple carbs, on the other hand, are nutrient-poor. What they lack in vitamins, minerals and fibre, they try to make up for with sugar – and lots of it.

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