If you were caught eating carbs in public, would you feel ashamed? Gasp! Didn’t you know carbs are bad for you? Isn’t that what all the fad diets say?
Spoiler alert, carbs actually aren’t bad for you. In fact, carbs are critical sources of fuel that play a major role in how well you’re able to perform in the gym. The catch is making sure that you’re choosing carbohydrate sources that are clean and jam-packed with nutrients.
If not all carbs are created equal, then how do you know the difference between a bad carb and a clean carb?
Less-than-stellar carbohydrate choices have little to no nutritional value (aka “empty calories”). Most of these “bad carbs” show up in processed foods as refined carbohydrates. Think white bread, fruit juices, white pasta, pastries, etc. (Is anyone else’s sugar spiking yet?)
On the other hand, clean carb sources include whole foods with minimal or zero processing. Bad carbs go through processing to strip out fiber and all the other good stuff. Clean carbs still contain all the healthy stuff. The fiber content and nutrient density in clean carbs help you avoid the sugar monster rollercoaster ride that inevitably ends in an energy crash.
Here are just five of the clean carbohydrates we recommend working into your weekly meal plan:
Quinoa looks like a grain, but it’s actually a seed. A seed loaded with protein which makes it pretty filling. Quinoa works great as a meal base and can take the place of white pasta or white rice. It’s also gluten-free.
Oats are a quality and satisfying whole grain. Look for oats in their natural form; the little packets of instant oatmeal aren’t really what we’re going for here.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are another clean carbohydrate source that is high in potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Like quinoa, sweet potatoes also make for a great meal base. Mix with other veggies and enjoy!
Beans are part of the legume family and are healthy sources of carbohydrate and protein, as well as fiber. Kidney and black beans taste great in chilis made with other veggies. Make sure that you always prepare and cook your beans properly.
Yep, fruit made the list. Remember, the goal is to avoid processed (aka “bad) carbs. A whole banana contains the good kind of carbohydrates, as well as potassium. And, they make for an easy post-workout snack.
To learn more about how to get started with Rhapsody CrossFit in Charleston, contact us today.