Why do carbohydrates, have such a bad reputation in today’s health world? It seems like every “diet plan” out there wants you to either reduce them to nearly nothing, or eliminate them all together. Carbohydrates (we will refer to them as “carbs”) are our bodies main source of energy. So, by reducing or eliminating them, we are taking away our bodies energy supply. Now, granted, there are good carbs and bad carbs, which we will go over, but we need to have carbs in our daily nutrition plan. Before we get into that, let’s define how carbs work. Carbohydrates are digested into glucose or blood sugar. Your body then uses that supply of sugar for energy in your cells, tissues, and organs. It stores any extra sugar in your muscles and liver for use when it is needed. Now, don’t let the word “sugar” scare you. In this context, it is a natural body function in order to supply your body with energy. There are two main types of carbs; simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates include sugars that are found naturally in fruits, vegetables and milk products. These particular simple carbs are easily digested into your body and used for energy. Simple carbs are also found in processed and refined foods. These are considered BAD Carbs because they are not “natural” foods and therefore cannot be processed by your body and will be stored as fat. This is where we fall into trouble and start to gain unwanted fat. Complex carbs include whole grains, starchy vegetables and legumes. The time of day that is best to consume these carbs will be discussed in a later post, but the important thing to remember here is, carbs are essential for your bodies overall health. We have to consume them in order to allow our bodies the energy it needs to get us through the day. So, don’t let the “diet experts” fool you. We need our carbs, we just need to make sure we are consuming them correctly.