We hear it all the time - carbs are bad, carbs are the enemy. But what happens when winter comes along and we start to crave more carbs (which does happen to a lot of people). Are we supposed to ignore these cravings, which is tough, or give in and consume those dreaded carbs?
Well firstly, carbs aren't nearly as evil as some diets would have you believe. Our bodies need them. Our brains love to have carbs as a fuel source and it's an important one. The point that the diets miss is that it's the type of carb that's the problem in society nowadays. Having heavily processed foods with refined carbs and sugars in them is the problem that's hiking our diabetes, obesity and heart disease rates. So there you go, carbs aren't the enemy, processed foods are the enemy!
Next, we'll have a look at the cravings. Our muscles also like to use carbs as a fuel source and store a lot of energy within their cells as something called glycogen - a type of carb. In the winter our bodies would have used this energy to shiver and move around more than in the summer to help stay warm when our ancestors evolved. This could have lead to our bodies craving more and more carbs in the winter to help fuel this. Yes our bodies can use other fuel sources, eg fat, but some people still get seasonal carb cravings.
Now we understand where those cravings might come from what can/should we do about them?
If your body is craving carbs then eat some - just make sure they're good ones. Basically avoid those nasty (for your body) processed carbs that come out of factories and veer torwards more martial sources. What are natural sources of carbs? Vegetables! When you're craving carbs just add a little extra veg into your daily nutrition and see how that does you.
Satisfying your cravings this ways is much healthier than heading straight for the cakes, biscuits and bread and will still give your body what it needs, and more! Those veg will also give you natural sources of vitamins and minerals to complement your nutrition.
There you have it - problem solved. Now you know what to do should you get those carb cravings. Just make sure your cupboards are stocked ready with veg!