Macros 101: Carbohydrates

I'm back with the last installment of counting your macros. Today's top is every one's favorite love hate relationship, carbohydrates.

Carbs are one of the essential nutrients that we need. They are essential because we need them and our bodies don't naturally create them. Carbs are also broken down into two different types, complex and simple.

Complex carbs are foods which contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It takes longer for the body break these complex carbs down as well as are full of fiber. Simple carbs are things like white bread, candy, soda, anything that the body can break down easily and quickly. "These easily digested carbohydrates are rapidly absorbed, causing a spike in blood sugar and quick boost in energy. Refined flours have been stripped of some of their natural, high fiber content including the bran, germ or endosperm. Because of this processing, they are digested faster and more easily and deliver fewer amounts of healthful nutrients. Fruits, vegetables and dairy are also technically made of simple carbohydrates but because of the fiber, protein and other nutrients, they act more like complex carbohydrates in the body and should be consumed daily." (Live Strong)

I tend to stack my carbs at the start of the day for more energy, especially before or after a workout. Part of knowing when and how to eat carbs is knowing what a serving size looks like, as well as knowing how much you need for your specific goals.

The important thing to remember about carbohydrates is that some of them can be broken down faster and easier than others. Fast-digesting carbs like refined sugar are called simple carbs. Your body can use these types of carbs almost immediately. The problem, though, is that eating these carbs can spike your blood sugar quickly, and they aren't a sustainable form of energy. And because these carbs are so readily usable, they also get stored as fat easily.
Complex carbs like oatmeal, however, take a little longer to digest, don't spike your blood sugar as dramatically, and often contain more fiber than their simple counterparts. (Body Building)

Check out part 1 here on counting your macros
And part 2 counting your macros: protein
Part 3: Macros: Fat
Don't forget to check the Body Building macro nutrient calculator to see how many carbohydrate grams will fit into your goal.

Carbohydrates are difficult for women with PCOS. Most doctors will tell us to restrict them, when in reality what we need are better carbs. More complex carbs, as well as carbs that are low on the glycemic level. When our blood sugar spikes our hormones go out of whack for a little awhile. If we constantly eat simple carbs, high sugary foods, then our hormones cause our PCOS symptoms to go hay wire, which cause missed cycles, weight gain etc. We need to feed our bodies nutrient dense foods such as vegetables instead of caloric dense foods such as pop-tarts.
Carbs are not evil. Just how we eat them, when, and how much.