Susan Silberstein & Marilyn Joyce (Health and Nutrition Educator & Heath Counselor) gives expert video advice on: Will carbohydrates make me fat?; How do I avoid simple carbohydrates while eating out? and more...
What are "carbohydrates"?
Many people don't understand that there are what we call simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are the ones that are broken down immediately in the bloodstream, and turn to sugar. This is when the problems begin with the high spikes of sugar in the blood and then the drops; the sudden drops. Complex carbohydrates are very high fibre foods; fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, peas, lentils, and split peas. Those are all high fibre foods that break down more gradually so that there's a steady, even influx of sugar into the blood, rather than huge amounts at one time. It's a gradual breaking down and actually the fibre, as we talk to our clients about, also helps the nutrients get dispersed throughout the body. So, it's very important to understand that the fibre in complex carbohydrates has all the many benefits that fibre has, as well as the benefit that it breaks down more slowly; you don't have that sudden glycaemic load that you get when you just drink a cup of juice, for example. You have a lower glycaemic level.
Are carbohydrates a bad source of nutrition?
Carbohydrates in and of themselves are not bad if they're complex carbohydrates. You can only eat so much of them and you are going to be satisfied and full. The problem with the simpler carbohydrates you know those white flour products and white sugar products is that they, you could never get satisfied. It's a sense of desire to eat more and more and more of them because you never get any satisfaction from eating them. Whole different ball game with foods that have flavor versus foods which basically don't have any flavor except the sugar or, you know the basic salt, etcetera that we add into these things to give them flavor. I mean white flour what's in it? Nothing, you know compared to whole grain flour that has richness and a depth to it in color alone. That's enticing to your eyes. And then of course the flavor. You don't have that with the white flour products.
Will carbohydrates make me fat?
Carbohydrates will not make us fat by themselves. The carbohydrates that would have the greatest pertinacity for making us fat would be the simple carbohydrates, because when we eat the simple carbohydrates; the white flour products, the white sugar products, French fries, or that type of thing, we never feel satisfied because sugar and salt, which are used to give these bland, 'blah' foods flavour, tend to have addictive qualities. So, we want more, and more, and more of them to get that inherent sense of satisfaction that we know we should be getting from the food we eat. If it was a whole grain, we would feel the satisfaction. Visually it looks better. Taste wise it absolutely tastes better; it's got more texture, more flavour, and more of the naturally occurring nutrients as well, so the body gets satisfied more easily. However, with the simple carbohydrates that's not the case. So, yes, you would feel dissatisfaction and probably gain weight from the simple carbohydrates. From the complex carbohydrates, you'll feel more satisfaction, and you'll have the nutrients that are giving the body what it needs in order to function optimally. That's the difference between them.