by Tara Clever

It’s almost impossible to interact with other human beings in a food setting and not hear thoughts on carbs. It’s like a bread basket landing on the table immediately launches our brains into stream-of-conciousness-carb-unpacking:

  • Someone looking woefully at said bread basket and saying they shouldn’t.
  • Someone else telling you that the diet starts tomorrow between bites.
  • Someone else eating exactly 1/4 of a piece and then immediately putting it into My Fitness Pal while walking you through their macro breakdown for the day.

And poor carbs, they are often so misunderstood. Our relationship with this macronutrient is fraught with all sorts of baggage and confusion and guilt and pleasure, and all they’re trying to do is be a part of a balanced meal.

At Territory, we believe in the power of harnessing nutrition to unlock your best life. We also understand that the specific mix of delicious goodness is probably going to look different from person to person. No matter what way of eating works best for you, your future involves carbs and we’re here to help decode and untangle our complicated relationship with this essential macronutrient.

Truth of the matter is, carbs don’t need to be so complicated. Carbs, along with protein and fat are the building blocks of food, the three nutrients that our body is built to break down for fuel to keep us thriving. Our body primarily uses carbs for energy. Not only to keep our muscles moving, but our brains have a strong preference for glucose (a simple carb). The brain will go to great lengths to use carbs over any other type of fuel, so eating too few carbs can be dangerous. On the other hand, eating too many carbs – or too much food for that matter – will result in the excess being stored as fat.

That’s where the balance (and for some, the complexities) between too little and too much comes into play.

Here’s the deal. All food contains carbs. The type and amount however, varies. A fresh juicy summer peach has lots of simple carbs, sweet potatoes have simple and complex carbs, beans have complex carbs and even carbs that we can’t break down – fiber. The type of carb (simple sugar vs a complex starch) and what else is in the food (fiber, fat, or protein) affects how quickly it gets digested and how it impacts our blood sugar. This makes certain carb sources better for certain needs. For example, before a workout, we’d want the peach. After a workout, we’d want the sweet potato.

Over the next few weeks, we’re hoping to unravel some carb myths through an exploration around the low-carb spectrum specifically (since there’s just so much buzz around it these days). Eating intentionally is fueled by information, self experimentation and finding what works for you. We want to provide the information, the meals for you to experiment with and ultimately move from a complex (carb pun FTW) relationship with carbs to a serious and healthy long-term partnership.

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