The Truth about Carbohydrates

Ending Carb-Confusion - Make better choices for yourself


Andy Bains, Nutrition coach

4/13/20232 min read

Are you tired of feeling carb-confused? You're not alone. Many clients that I work with need clarification about carbohydrates. But fear not! We're here to clear up the confusion and help you make better choices for your health and wellness.

Carbohydrates, fats, and protein make up the three macronutrients we get from most of our foods. While each of these are littered with misunderstandings, knowing the truth about carbohydrates can be life or death. Poor eating habits can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and other lifestyle diseases.

The easiest way to understand carbohydrates is to use unrefined versus refined. What is unrefined? It's simple: if you can eat it as it grew in your garden with or without cooking it up (heating it up), it's unrefined. If you need to start processing it, then the more you process it, the more refined you get!

Here's a quiz:

Is a boiled potato an unrefined carb?

Yes, because all we did was heat it up! In fact, a boiled potato ranks at the top for being incredibly satiating (filling)!

Is a baked potato an unrefined carb?

Yes, because all we did was heat it up!

Is bread an unrefined carb?

No, because we mill the bran and germ (outer layers out). The degree of processing matters when it comes to bread, rice, oats, and other grains. If you remove everything, you're left with pure sugar, the most refined form. We can all agree that that high level of processing leaves us with "junk" calories.

Carbohydrates in their unprocessed unrefined forms have many advantages.

They have more water, fibre, vitamins and nutrients. In addition, they're lower in calorie density, meaning you can eat more volume to feel full while getting fewer calories in (excellent for weight loss).

But instead, most people give carbohydrate-rich foods the thumbs down. Why? Because most people are eating highly-refined forms, which are unsurprisingly associated with adverse health consequences. I remember hearing that 90% of carbs eaten in America are processed refined carbohydrates!

If you've made it this far into this article, then you need a special reward. So here's a little secret, despite pasta and white rice being more refined forms of carbohydrates, these are NOT problematic. Why not? Because when we cook them, they soak up water. That water absorbed by the rice and pasta noodles means it takes our bodies some time to digest, which equals being full! It also means that while bread is 1200 calories per pound, pasta and white rice are closer to 600 calories per pound.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on leveraging carbs for your dietary pleasure and satiation in our upcoming blog posts!

Andy Bains

Nutrition Coach

"I believe in sustainable long-term success so you can look and feel better for the rest of your life."

Learn more about Andy Bains...

Contact us today at 604-401-0459 for your 15 minute nutrition consultation. Get the personalized advice you need to achieve your nutritional goals.

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