I Want to be Fit, Should I Eat Carbs?
Fitness and feeding the body are two things that go hand in hand. You need to feed your body the right way in order to become more physically fit. Even if you want to lose weight, you have to give your body fuel. If you are doing any type of cardiovascular exercise that lasts more than approximately 20 minutes you need to eat more carbohydrates than people who are not doing these types of workouts. The more endurance training you are doing the more carbs you need to fuel your workouts.
There are two different types of carbohydrates you need when you are training to be an endurance athlete. To help you care for your body over all, keep your blood sugar in check and help your digestion you should be eating complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber. Good sources of high fiber complex carbohydrates are whole grain breads and cereals, oatmeal, high fiber pasta, quinoa and amaranth.
These types of carbs can be eaten with meals and snacks, but you should avoid them right before a strenuous workout. If you need to eat within an hour or so of working out try and stick to the easier to digest simple carbs like bananas or puffed rice cereal. Eating simple carbs will give you energy fast and help you avoid stomach upset during vigorous workouts.
Fruits are your best sources of simple carbohydrates and vegetables, both starchy and non-starchy vegetables, are your best source of complex carbohydrates. Most of the carbs you eat should come from fruits and vegetables. They have more nutrients and less calories than other forms of carbohydrates. Beans and legumes are also excellent choices for both carbs, fiber and protein. Try to build your diet around vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes. These foods should be the base and bulk of your diet. Especially if you are doing any type of athletic training.
While you need to be eating plenty of carbs if you are an endurance athlete, you also need some protein and fats. Protein helps you feel fuller longer and can help you keep your weight under control. It can also help you maintain your muscle mass when you are trying to lose weight and help you build lean muscle mass. Plant based protein sources include soy, nuts and nut butters. Many grains also have a good amount of protein as well.
Chicken, turkey and fish will be your best sources of animal protein. You can also enjoy yogurt that does not have a tone of added sugars and small amounts of cheese. Use high quality cheeses because even though they are more expensive you will need less of them and get more flavor for less calories. In the end a small quantity of high quality cheese is the same cost as a largest serving of lower quality cheese. The occasional serving of red meat or pork is fine too. Just try not to eat pork or red meat everyday. Keep all servings of meat at 3 to 4 ounces. Nuts have healthy fats and you can cook your meats with olive oil to get a boost of good fats.
If you are working towards being fit you need to eat carbohydrates. The amount you need should be based on how much exercise you are doing. More exercise means that you need to consume more carbohydrates. Balance your diet with some protein and fat and you can fuel your body right for fitness.