Are you confused about carbs?
PART 2: Simple sugars.
🍬Carbs with 2 units of sugar are called double sugar (no surprises there) with the fancy name of ‘disaccharide’.
🍬Common day to day examples of simple carbs include sweets, cereals (coco pops etc) cakes, Lucozade and other energy drinks.
🍌Simple sugars are often linked to the above processed foods (hence the bad press), but the reality is they are present in a range of naturally occurring foods such as fruit, veggies & milk products.
What separates the two is that the naturally occurring food choices will also contain naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, making them a potentially more nutritionally dense choice.
This why many people would consider a banana to be ‘healthy’ and Skittles ‘unhealthy’.
They both contain simple sugars, both contain calories, both would have a similar effect on blood sugar, but as the banana is natural or what could be deemed as ‘real food’ it also provides the body with vitamins and minerals.
However, there is no real rational argument to support eating 5 bananas a day (even though it is ‘healthy’ and one of the ‘5 a day’) if the goal is fat loss as this can clock up around 500 kcals, which is quite a chunk out of anyone’s daily allowance!
Simple carbs are very fast acting, & are quickly absorbed by the body to produce energy. Because they are broken so quickly they cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.
This is why it is common practice when anyone feels dizzy to give them a sugary drink or snack.
There are pros and cons of implementing simple sugars into your diet, depending on how and when these choices are made.
❌Before we any further, this is probably a good place to emphasise that sugar in isolation is not responsible for making you or anyone else gain weight!
✅The single most important factor in weight loss and weight gain is the total amount of calories consumed and whether an individual is in a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus.
❌Excessive calories creates weight gain, NOT excessive sugar!
However, practically speaking sugar isn’t particularly filling, and as it digested so quickly this is what can make it very easy to overeat on.
Try it: eat a bowl of kids cereal and tell me you aren’t hungry again within an hour?
However there may be times when you wish to consciously implement fast acting sugars into your routine, and placing them around your workout window can be an advantageous choice for some people. This may be time when you want to consider choosing foods that can be digested easily, as long as it fits into your total daily intake in terms of calories.
I deal with a lot of people who claim to have sugar cravings, and who also believe that they have a perceived ‘weakness’ when it comes to certain food choices.
If you feel you are craving sugar or something sweet, it’s very often down to your blood sugar levels dropping and you needing that ‘quick fix’ to bring them back up rapidly.
The easiest fix for this to simply try to eat a bit more regularly if possible. This isn’t to do with metabolism (that’s a whole other subject) but practically speaking leaving large gaps between meals can often lead to you to reaching for the quickest sugary fix.
That’s all for today, stay tuned for part 3!
Tristan ‘sugary’ Buttle.
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