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Figuring Net Carbs: The Difference Between Effective and Non Effective Carbs | Momental

Figuring Net Carbs: The Difference Between Effective and Non Effective Carbs | Momental

Over the years carbs have fallen into an unfavorable spotlight and can be the source of many metabolic disorders and potentially disease. However not all carbs are bad for you. While some carbs are bad for your brain, body and contribute to weight gain. Other carbs deserve a chance to redeem themselves and prove to people that they are not all about weight gain and cellular damage. In fact, your body needs them too, but to what extent? It’s all about choosing the right source and amount of carbohydrates to make sure you stay on the safe and healthy side.

Here comes the revelation: your brain needs carbs in order to function well. The challenge now is finding the right carbs that will boost your brain health and at the same time, knowing what type of carbs to avoid that are detrimental to your metabolic and overall health.

New research is out this year that has found a strong correlation between carbohydrates and higher mortality rates. A group of 135,335 participants fulfilled validated food and health questionnaires over a 10 year period from 18 different countries, across multi ethnic and varying socioeconomic backgrounds from low, middle, and high incomes. Perhaps one of the most representative samples of the general world population ever studied. The group responsible for the PURE ((The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) study not only found increased overall mortality rates from increased carbohydrate consumption, but they also found that increased fat consumption was strongly correlated with a decrease in mortality rates, and specifically increased ingestion of saturated fats was strongly correlated with a reduced risk of stroke. Now correlation does not equal causation, and epidemiological studies have their weaknesses. That being said the evidence here sheds further light on how we should view and eat macronutrients(carbs, fats, and protein), as the authors suggest the dietary guidelines be adjusted to reflect this newly discovered evidence. [1]

Need to know more about Nootropics? Check out our Momental Nootropic User Guide. It's full of valuable information and frequently asked questions in an easily digestible format.

 

Say Hello to Carbs that Are Good to Eat for Nootropic Benefits

Did you know that certain carbs are actually good for your brain? According to a study published in The Quarterly Review of Biology, carbohydrates are a key factor in the development of the human brain. In fact, carb sources like grains, sweet potatoes, and other healthy starches are the reason why past civilizations improved their cognitive capacity with more nutrient dense foods.

It’s not just the size of the brain that matters. The study likewise revealed that starchy foods are your brain and body’s main source of energy. This is why it is important to make it a part of your daily diet for optimal functioning. The problem is we just have an overabundance of cheap, low nutrient dense, and processed carb heavy foods that overshoot the runway when it comes to energy attainment and utilization.

What type of carbs must be included in your diet to make sure your brain functions well?

You can try the following:

  • Oats

    – Your brain’s primary fuel is glucose, which you can get from good carbohydrates such as oats. Consequently, whole grain oats are slowly broken down by your body and keep you sharp for several hours (aside from keeping you fuller longer, of course). Still, limit it to three servings per week since despite being a part of Diet Foods list, oats are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids too.
  • Lentils

    – There is a reason why this food is part of the best superfoods list. Lentils are low in iron and have a low glycemic index. At the same time, lentils are rich in folate, a type of B vitamin known to decrease amino acids that could impair your overall brain functioning and help in boosting your brain power. Make sure to add them in your favorite soup and salad to enjoy their brain-boosting benefits.
  • Sweet Potato

    – You might often associate this with baby food. The good news is even adults can benefit from this because of its positive effect on the brain. It has tons of anti-inflammatory agents that improves your memory, boosts your brain function, and even reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Trade your white potatoes for this healthier starch alternative and make sure you go for organic variants. Also, the more orange the sweet potatoes look, the higher the nutrient density, so take note if you want to enjoy greater brain benefits.
  • Semolina

    – This is a coarsely ground grain made from wheat and often present in bread, couscous, and pasta. A quarter cup of semolina not only meets your recommended daily energy intake but also keeps your brain in a healthy state. It is also rich in B vitamins, specifically thiamin and folate, which are essential in keeping your brain and nerves properly functioning. Semolina has a low glycemic index too, so you don’t have to worry about putting too much carbs in your body. You can also replace your usual white flour with semolina flour for more brain-boosting benefits.
  • Barley

    – You may have heard that barley is similar to white rice. That’s true. Still, the difference is that barley contains more fiber than white rice, thank to its B vitamins content such as vitamin B6, folate, and B12. Barley is also one of the foods with the lowest glycemic index around. When you add barley to your diet, you get to enjoy lower cholesterol levels and improve brain health because of its capacity to reduce your risk of cognitive decline and boost your memory.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables

    – This type of food had a bad rep for those who suffer with gastrointestinal issues. Unless your gut is overly sensitive, cruciferous veggies must be part of your daily diet because of their positive effects on your overall brain health. Most cruciferous veggies have antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, folate, potassium, and selenium – components that are crucial in reducing your risk of cognitive decline. They also have a compound called glucosinolates, a component that protects your blood vessels and eliminates harmful carcinogens in your body, which can also contribute to cognitive decline. Spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower are some of the cruciferous vegetables you should eat on a regular basis.
  • Black Beans

    – I know, some beans can increase gut inflammation and lead to greater production of gas as a byproduct of feasting bacteria. Keep in mind not all gut bacteria are bad, hence the reason for ingesting prebiotics and probiotics. If beans don’t agree with you, then here’s an astounding reason why you may need to include them in your diet: they are good for the brain. Black beans are rich in B vitamins, especially folate and vitamin B6 that helps lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. They are easy to add in your diet too since black beans are low glycemic index refined carbs, so no need to worry about blood sugar spikes.
  • Squash

    – Orange foods are good for your health and your brain. When it comes to brain-boosting foods, squash is very deserving of a spot on the list. Squash is rich in carotenoid, an antioxidant that protects your brain against oxidative stress and subsequent cognitive decline. Squash is also low in calories but high in fiber, which also makes it an excellent filling food when you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Hummus

    – It started in the Middle East and North African countries and slowly the whole world has been introduced to hummus. It contains olive oil, chickpeas, sea salt, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini – all beneficial for your brain. Lemon is a natural anti-inflammatory, as is garlic. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are an excellent source of lean energy, providing a high fiber content with protein, molybdenum and manganese (essential trace minerals). This is why it’s not surprising to learn that hummus decreases inflammation, boosts your energy levels without feeding your body with too many carbs, and is rich in vitamins and minerals that keep your brain healthy.
  • Nuts

    – They can be the ultimate snack but the truth is, nuts are more than just keeping you satisfied while waiting for dinnertime. Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, contain antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to help boost your brain power. As a result, you get to enjoy better and improved mental performance as well. Just make sure you go for unsalted ones because a typical diet provides plenty of sodium. Those of you rocking keto diets, and eating extremely lean, seeking out no salt added foods, and not adding any salt to your meals, need to keep in mind that salt is absolutely necessary to keep osmotic and electrolyte balance for basic survival. Too low of salt content can contribute to fatigue, muscle cramps, and poor physiologic response to a multitude of stimuli.
  • Flaxseed

    – You heard about the benefits of alpha-linoleic acid or ALA and how it helps your mental health. Did you know that flaxseed is rich in ALA? When consumed properly, flaxseed can help improve how your cerebral cortex works; thereby improving the processing of sensory information such as taste and touch. The best part is flaxseed is easy to add in your diet – sprinkle it on salad, add a bit to your homemade smoothie, or top your favorite dish with this for extra crunch.

Eating these healthy carbs also helps to alter your gut health, and decreases food cravings for those not so healthy carb options. Healing your gut is the first step towards losing stomach fat, preventing acne, and decreasing cravings for undesirable foods. All this in addition to optimizing brain health.

 

A Goodbye Kiss for these Carbs that Eat Your Brain Away and Contribute to Brain Fog and Lethargy

We’ve already established that good carbs keep your brain working at a high level with protective and productive benefits. The next question now is what type of carbs should you avoid to make sure you keep your brain in tip-top shape.

Below are carbs that bad for brain health:

  • Bagels

    – You love to eat this every morning, but the truth is bagels won’t do any good for your brain or body. Most deli bagels have as much as 300 calories and more than 50 grams of carbs per piece, which is too much to keep your brain functioning at an optimal level. Unless you plan to go to the gym right after having your favorite bagel with cream cheese, stay away from this nonsense carb.
  • Cheese Crackers

    – You can’t help but binge on this snack while watching your favorite show on Netflix. Sadly, cheese crackers have no nutritional value and are full of additives, chemicals, and artificial colors. High-fructose corn syrup is also another ingredient and frankly, your brain doesn’t need that.
  • Coffee Shop Pastries

    – The pastries are the perfect pair to your coffee, but these foods don’t blend well with your brain. Not only do they contain too many carbs and sugar but also they are made of processed flour and butter that negatively affect your health.
  • Fancy Coffee Drinks

    – Apart from the pastries, drinks topped with whipped cream and your preferred syrup are also full of sugar and carbs your brain doesn’t need. No wonder your favorite ice blended drinks are considered “dessert in a cup.” Just keep it plain and simple and you’re brain will reward you with optimal performance.
  • Movie Theater Popcorn

    – Watching a movie will never be complete without popcorn. Unfortunately, a large-sized bag contains as much as 1,200 calories, which is mostly coming from carbohydrates. Sodium is another main ingredient added in popcorn – to be topped off with butter or cheese, depending on your preference. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that movie theatres across the country have stopped asking if you’d like butter on your popcorn. Instead they ask if you’d like butter flavoring, or simply flavoring. You would think this is an area where they would just eat the cost and provide a superior product, but no. When multiplied across many theatres profit margins are increased by squeezing even the most insignificant products. Unfortunately butter was axed, and your health will definitely suffer with whatever the hell butter flavoring is. This is an absolute no no.
  • Fruit Juice Drinks

    – Blame it on promotional campaigns that make you want to drink, but these types of drinks are full of carbs and sugar, which are not good for boosting your brain health. There just isn’t enough fiber content in fruit juices whether from concentrate or freshly squeezed. They’re basically sugar shots, and aren’t any better than drinking soda, aside from some vitamin content. If you’re trying to lose weight, fruit juice should be avoided at all costs. It is not healthy. If you really prefer this over a cup of coffee every morning, make sure not to go more than four ounces.
  • Canned Fruits with Yogurt

    – Admit it. This is your ultimate diet treat. Sadly, ordinary yogurt filled with fruits you got straight from the can or pre filled fruit and yogurt cups are not as healthy as you think. You can get as much as 30 grams of worthless carbs, which means you are likely to add a few unnecessary pounds to your weight over a short period of time with just semi-regular consumption. Stick to Greek yogurt and fresh, whole fruit instead.

Do not underestimate carbs and how they can help keep your brain healthy. Your brain needs them too, together with other healthy lifestyle habits, you can protect your brain from premature deterioration. The key here is to choose your carbs wisely. Use this as your guide to know what works and what doesn’t.  



References:


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28864332

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