Not all carbs are created equal.

Carbs, carbs, carbs. To eat them or not to eat them. That often seems to be the question nowadays. Seems we vacillate between every combination of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) and still our nation has trouble getting it right en mass.

Well, knowledge is power and the truth is, while fat contains 9 calories per gram, both protein AND carbohydrates each contain 4 calories per gram. So, bite for bite there is no difference in terms of calories. One of the main issues with carbohydrates aside from quantity, however, is quality.

Low quality simple carbs (ie white rice, white flour, and white sugar) are quickly broken down by the body and absorbed. These foods encourage fat storage due to a physiological process that you most likely don't really want to know about but I'd be happy to explain later if you want to know. The bottom line is that simple carbs can hinder weight loss because of how our bodies react to them, they are overeaten and the foods tend to be calorie dense and nutrient poor.

Examples? Krispy Kreme donuts, Doritos, bagels, seminola pasta noodles.

Complex carbs on the other hand (ie fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc) are broken down more slowly by the body and can help you manage your energy and your appetite by keeping you feeling fuller and satisfied longer due to increased fiber and nutrient values. Additionally, your body doesn't react to store the calories the same way as with the simple carbs.

Examples? Strawberries, broccoli, brown rice, whole grain breads and cereals, and beans.

So, if you're looking to lose some weight in time for summer, focus on the quality of your carbohydrates as well as the quantity.

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