The other day on Twitter I was called a carb snob. We won't mention any names here *cough* Ryan *cough* Steve.
Somehow Corn Flakes and Crispix cereals came up (now aren't you sad you missed that intellectually stimulating conversation?).
I said they were cheap carbs. Then I was called a carb snob, and I elaborated that I didn't eat them much because they made me feel like crap. Then the carb snob comments were flung about some more (all in good fun) and I had an aha moment for a blog post! Yes, that's a glimpse into the glamorous life of bloggers.
OK, anyway, what's a carb snob? Well, me I guess. And many of you I am guessing.
What I call cheap carbs are carbs that after eating them I am often still hungry. Sometimes even more hungry than before I ate them. For me they can even trigger a bingey feeling. I just want more and more of them.
Cheap carbs are more than just candies, cookies, cakes, donuts, and sodas. Those are the obvious ones. They are things such as so called 'wheat' bread (I seriously wonder if they just add some brown coloring to some of these), white pasta, white rice, white tortillas, and low nutritional value cereals. These are big culprits here for me. And just because they add back in some vitamins and minerals to make their stats look better does not lessen their cheap carb status. Sorry cereal companies, nice try.
Cheap carbs have little to no nutritional value. Little fiber, little substance that is going to fill me up and make me feel like I've just had a satisfying meal. They leave me hungry for more.
Cheap carbs make me feel like crap, plain and simple. They zap my energy and make me less mentally alert. I avoid them as staples in my diet. I have become much more aware of how foods I eat make me feel afterwards and cheap carbs aren't worth how they make me feel.
As an example, lets look at the nutritional info on a box of Corn Flakes and then a box of Kashi GoLean Crunch honey Almond Flax for a 1 cup serving.
0 g fat
0 mg Cholesterol
200 mg Sodium
25 mg Potassium
24 g Carbohydrates
1 g Fiber
2 g Sugar
2 g Protein
and yes, some vitamins and minerals that they have added to the cereal to make it appear healthier.
4.5 g Fat
0 mg Cholesterol
140 mg Sodium
260 mg Potassium
36 g Carbohydrate
8 g Fiber
12 g Sugar
Yes, the Kashi is twice the calories, gasp. It also has 10 grams more of sugar and 2.5 grams more fat. But I will choose the Kashi over the Corn Flakes any day of the week!
Look at all that fiber and protein! And yes, fat, but healthy fats from the almonds and flax seeds, etc in it. I need those things to feel satisfied, to feel healthy, to feel well after a meal. After a bowl of the Corn Flakes, I'll be ready for another bowl and still feel like crap after.
I eat lower carb, but not what most would call low carb. I definitely still eat carbs. I eat things like real Oatmeal (no instant here), Barley, Apples, Strawberries, Blueberries (I think people tend to forget that fruits and veggies are carbs!), Spinach, Salads, Real whole grain breads (if there's nuts and seeds in it all the better), Beans, Nuts, Ezekiel breads and pitas. That's just a sampling. Yes, some of these may be higher in calories than some of their cheap carb counterparts. But I have to view food as fuel. As building blocks for building this new body I am working so hard for.
If I choose the lower calorie 'wheat'(read as brown colored white bread) bread I will not only feel less satisfied, but I am not putting the real food and nutrients in my body that it needs to be as healthy (and yes great looking) as it can be.
Since becoming said carb snob I feel so much better. I have more energy and have that bingey feeling rarely. I am reminded of how much better I feel now when I get weak and reach for a cheap carb. Instant energy crash. They just aren't worth it!
Don't even get me started on 100 calorie packs! Yeesh.
My point here is, yes we have to watch our calories, but not to the point of sacrificing nutrition. That food stripped of all nutrients to make it low cal? We are not doing our bodies, or our waistlines any favors by eating it! A calorie is not a calorie in my book. Nutrition matters.
I think we really have to look at the nutritional VALUE of what we are going to put into our bodies. Does this food have fiber? Does it have protein? Does it have essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are going to make me look and feel fantastic. Or is it a 100 cheap calories that will have me feeling like crap and screaming for more?
We don't have to give up our favorite foods here, just alter them to make them have value as something to nourish our bodies! Get creative. Chocolate chip cookies? Use half whole wheat flour/half all purpose wheat flour, dark chocolate chips, and add a little shredded zucchini. Of course you can't eat them by the handful, but one or two and you've satisfied that sweet tooth and nourished your body!
So, yes I'm a carb snob and proud of it. My body thanks me.
Here's to carb snobs everywhere! No more cheap carbs!