Heal Your Relationship to Carbs
LEARN HOW TO MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR BODY'S MAIN SOURCE OF ENERGY
We’re going to say something that might shock you: carbs and sugar are not the enemy. Contrary to what fad diets preach, healthy carbs are essential for our vitality, and we embrace that here at Sakara. Afterall, glucose, the most simple form of carbohydrates, is the body’s preferred source of energy.
Writing off all carbs—and actively avoiding nourishing your body with its preferred source of energy—can have major health implications, like fatigue, constipation, headaches, hair loss, and even bad breath. Plus, it adds undue stress to your body; when you go “low carb,” your body is not prepared for the quick shift in fuel supply. When our systems realize there’s no sugar or glucose incoming, they begin to stress… and secrete the stress hormone cortisol.
Instead of shunning carbohydrates and sugar full stop, it’s time to look to them as the bedrock for a balanced, powerful body—and we’re here to help you understand how.
Carbs’ Beautiful Benefits
Rather than banning all carbohydrates from your diet, choose whole carbohydrates—like those found in asparagus, legumes, and berries—and let them fuel you. They’re crucial to your body’s day-to-day functions and offer a whole array of benefits:
- Provide energy for movement. When you exercise, your muscles rely heavily on carbohydrates as easily accessible fuel. Without them, there’s less energy production that’ll affect your performance and slow down your progress.
- Flood your body with fiber. Complex carbohydrates (like oats, broccoli, and lentils) are rich in fiber, which is integral to your digestive health and keeping consistent bowel movements. This fiber also nourishes your microbiome, which feeds on it to produce anti-inflammatory, health-promoting metabolites, like short-chain fatty acids.
- Boost your mood. Speaking of the microbiome, having a healthy gut microflora is essential for producing feel-good hormones and stabilizing our mood, and carbohydrates also support serotonin production in the gut.
- Serve as brain food. Rich in neurons and nerve cells, the brain requires the lion’s share of glucose provided from food. Glucose also stimulates neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers that work between the brain and other organ systems. When glucose isn’t present, they don’t turn on which can affect synapses, cognitive health, and memory.
Which Carbohydrates to Consume
While we don’t shy away from a fluffy slice of focaccia or flaky pastry from time to time, it’s important to note which carbohydrate sources will help you unlock their potential benefits. Refined carbs—like those containing white table sugar and white flour—are stripped of many nutrients and linked to obesity and metabolic diseases, while whole carbohydrates—like those found in asparagus, legumes, and berries—are minimally processed and have many health benefits, including energizing your body, boosting your mood, and supporting your sleep.
One surefire way to ensure the carbs you nourish will support you? Eating plants. Plant carbs offer nutrients that can’t be replicated by man-made, “low-carb” equivalents—chiefly fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. These nutrients slow down how sugar is released into your bloodstream and alter the way it is absorbed in the digestion process. This ultimately prevents unnecessary spikes in blood sugar levels and keeps your hormonal cascade in check.
Your Healthy Carbs Checklist
- Gluten-Free Oats
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