Carbohydrates (carbs) are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in food. There are complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs offer several health benefits and are obtained from fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and other whole foods. Simple carbs are from processed foods such as bread, pasta, chips, grain based baked goods, pastries, cereals, bagels, pizza crust, juice, candy, sodas, sugary foods, desserts, and other junk food. Simple carbs do not have the same benefits as complex carbs and instead are associated with increasing health risks. Choosing healthy forms of carbohydrates is essential to gain the health benefits that they offer.
Benefits of complex carbohydrates from whole food sources:
- Improved digestion and elimination
- Reduction of colon cancer risk
- To manage cholesterol and hormone levels
- Energy production
- Reduction of inflammation through alkalizing the body
Consuming carbohydrates throughout the day is essential to get enough fiber in. I recommend gradually increasing fiber intake until the total daily amount is approximately 25-35 grams. Some individuals experience digestive upset when increasing fiber intake. There are several reasons why this might happen, including the need for digestive supportive enzymes, good bacteria, elimination of bad bacteria or yeast, controlling inflammatory bowel conditions, and more. If you would like individualized recommendations on how to successfully increase fiber intake comfortably, please feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to assess your health and make appropriate suggestions.