A few hundred years ago refined sources of sugar was not available to humans. The only sugar that was consumed was honey but only in very small amounts. Back in the day people would consume complex carbohydrates, which release natural sugars into the body in order to use it as energy. Complex carbohydrates release energy more slowly than the refined carbohydrates that we have in our diet today.
So you might ask, what is the difference between complex carbohydrates and simple (also called refined) carbohydrates?
Complex carbohydrates are often found in fresh vegetables, fresh fruit pulses, brown rice, sweet potatoes and also wholemeal wholegrain, Yam and quinoa. These are made of sugar molecules strung together and are referred to as dietary starch. They are often high in vitamins and minerals.
Simple carbohydrates have been introduced to our diets over the years; these are made up of one or two sugar molecules. You can get an instant sugar fix from these, as they are easy to digest. Items such as white bread, white pasta, white sugars, white rice, cake, biscuits, pastries and processed foods contain simple carbohydrates.
However, simple carbohydrates do not contain protein, vitamin or minerals. A diet high in these types of carbohydrates can affect the digestive system and metabolic process, as a result of this the brain and the nervous system accumulates pyric acid which affects the respiration of the cells. Oxygen becomes deprived in the body creating an acidic environment and as a result you could end up with kidney disease; liver disease; tooth decay, overgrowth of candida yeast and fungi, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, food intolerance and behavioural problems such as ADHD and ADD.
If you have a sweet tooth then it may be difficult to give up on all foods that contain simple carbohydrates but you should be mindful of your intake. Excessive sugar can definitely block your success and stop you from achieving optimal health.
Here are some healthier alternatives to refined carbohydrates:
- Organic honey as the thick beeswax in it supports health and immune functions.
- Stevia is a lot sweeter than sugar and is known to balance blood sugars levels and is ideal for anyone coming off caffeinated drinks.
- Seasonal fruit and vegetables have a natural sweetness giving food a great taste such as carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes.
- Some sugars such as Turbinado are a good replacement to white sugar. This is less processed than brown sugar
- Become a food detective and read labels of the ingredients. Food manufacturers are aware with the affects of sugar, which is usually disguised with words like sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, and many more.
- Be aware of the word natural sugars or no added sugars as they may contain sweetener replacement, which can cause your body more harm than good.
- Cut out pre-packaged processed foods, fast foods, fizzy drinks and confectionary products as they can lead to major health concerns.
To find out more about how I can help you with your nutrition, contact me here – www.sebfitness.co.uk