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Nutrition - Carbohydrates

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You may think eating a lot of carbohydrates will make you pack on the pounds, but they're actually essential in helping you burn fat!

Carbs - Why Are They Good For You?

Carbohydrates are one of the main sources of fuel for your body, especially the muscles, brain and central nervous system. Carbs are broken down into glucose (blood sugar), which is then metabolized by your body for energy. Excess glucose turns into glycogen and is stored in your muscles as extra energy. But, if your body has more glycogen than it can store, it'll be converted to fat. This is why many dieters swear off carbohydrates, but doing so will leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Also, carbs are metabolic primers, which means that they're needed in order to burn fat - so eat up!

Carbs - What Foods Can It Be Found In?

Carbs come in two forms: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are high in refined sugar and found in sweet-tasting foods, like cookies, candy and fruits. Simple carbs quickly turn into glucose, enter your bloodstream and give you a sudden burst of energy, which is where the term "sugar fix" comes from. Complex carbohydrates are found in brown rice, veggies, legumes (beans, lentils, dried peas) and whole grain breads and cereals, and are digested at a much slower rate. Complex carbs are more nutritious and usually lower in fat.

Carbs - Did U Know?

  • There are four calories in each gram of carbohydrates.
  • Nutritionists recommend that complex carbohydrates make up about 50 percent of your diet, so fill your plate with lots of vegetables and whole grain products.
  • Simple carbohydrates are high in calories, but lack vitamins and minerals. They're often called "empty calories" because they're not nutritious and will lead to weight gain.
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