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This is the second blog in a series about making healthy diet choices.  Part one of the series was about the benefits of water for your body. 

To read more about the benefits of water, please follow the link HERE to read the previous blog.  

Sugars are needed in our diet.  As much as people say they are bad, carbohydrates (sugars) are the simplest form of energy and with an appropriate intake, they can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.  

There are two categories of carbohydrates: simple and complex.  Simple carbohydrates are only one or two sugar units.  These sugars are rapidly digested causing a spike in blood glucose levels that levels off quickly.   There is a lot of energy released quickly leading to the “sugar rush” and then the “sugar crash” shortly after.  Foods like candy, soft drinks, fruit drinks, white flour, honey, and table sugar are examples of simple carbohydrate sources.  

High intake of simple sugars can lead to health problems such as obesity and diabetes.  Limiting simple sugar intake is recommended.  

Eating complex carbohydrates is best for our bodies.  Complex carbohydrates are long chains of simple sugars and they take longer to digest.  Due to the longer digestion process, the body receives a lower, constant release of sugars that our body can utilize much easier.  Not only are we avoiding the sugar spike, complex sugars usually are found in whole foods like whole grains, vegetables, beans, and some fruits.  Along with the intake of complex carbohydrates, other important nutrients will be ingested as well such as vitamins, fiber and other micro-nutrients.  

Simple carbohydrates should be substituted by complex carbohydrates whenever possible.  It can be as simple as switching white bread for wheat bread, or a handful of nuts instead of a candy bar.  A good rule to follow when comparing two different foods is to look at the amount of processing each had to go through, then pick the one that has the least.