Did Someone Say Carbs?


Who Gave “Carbs” a Bad Name?

It’s no secret that carbs have been given a bad name lately in the “diet” world. However, it is important to know a couple of things:

  • Not all carbs are bad

  • It’s okay to indulge in the “not so good“ carbs

There are many different types of carbohydrates. However, the main ones to focus on are generally referred to as “whole” and “refined."

A whole carb is a type of carb that hasn’t gone under any type of processing. It is in its natural state (think vegetables, fruits, whole grains, yams, potatoes). Refined carbs are what you find in processed foods (bread, pasta, white rice, pastries, sugar infused beverages, candies, etc).

Refined carbs are generally very low in nutrients as well as fibre, therefore leaving you with nothing more than empty calories and often increased midsections.

Carbohydrates are important for many functions within our body, however, to help the body properly function we need to be consuming more whole carbs and limit the refined carbs to treat days.

Choosing whole carbs, fresh fruits and vegetables that all contain fibre and are filled with nutrients are more beneficial than refined carbs who little to no fibre and no nutrients to provide to the body.


Nutrition Tip from Mandy Gill

During training days, consume more healthy starchy carbohydrates (they are critical for performance)! The typical endurance athlete will consume over 200g of carbs per day. They act as an immediate fuel source for all tissues in the body, helping you to be more powerful in your workouts. However, too much high GI or processed carbohydrates can be detrimental to performance. It is crucial to get your carbohydrates from good sources, such as those listed below:

  • Brown Rice

  • Quinoa

  • Edamame Noodles

  • Yams

  • Potatoes

  • Plantains

  • Squash


Refined Carbs

As delicious and tasty some of those bad carbs can be, they definitely can put a halt on any fitness goals that you may have, widen your midsection, and often leave you craving more of them.

Refined Carbs can be found in foods such as :

  • Pastries

  • Cookies

  • Sugary treats

  • White Bread

  • White Rice

  • Pasta

  • Sugar-Sweetened Drinks ( Pop, Juice )

  • Sugar filled breakfast cereals

The trick with refined carbs is to try and avoid these altogether. However, life happens and sometimes you just need a donut!

The best way to go about these is to have them in moderation! Treat your self every once and a while or choose healthier versions if you can of them. Watch your serving sizes as well. Aim to have 1/2 a cup of pasta over an entire plate, or share your favourite pastry with a friend!


Did You Know That Vegetables Are Considered a Carb As Well?

They are fibrous carbs, meaning they are full of fibre. Fibre feeds your microbiome which is essential for a healthy gut.

Consuming a majority of your carbohydrates through fibrous carbs is an excellent way to get more nutrient-dense foods into your meals. They also provide essential minerals to support not just your waistline, but your digestive tract too!

Choose a variety of dark leafy greens, load up on easy to grab veggies like cucumbers and carrots, and be sure to add in those bright and colourful peppers for additional skin-enhancing vitamins!

Mandy Gill