Why pair protein and carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates… such a great energy source and something we all enjoy, often a little too much 🤣.

Don’t get me wrong, carbohydrates are fine, but not ideal to have just by themselves unless you are doing endurance sports or need to quickly raise your blood glucose levels.

Who often gets on the sugar roller-coaster of craving sugars, consuming sugars, having a sugar high, sudden drop, craving sugar again? I think we all know that ride a little too well at times.

So, how do you manage or rectify that? My advice is to make sure you have protein with your carbohydrates. This is beneficial for a number of reasons. Firstly it reduces the glycaemic effect of carbohydrates in the blood and assist with blood glucose levels typically not going quite so high. Secondly, protein requires more energy to breakdown plus also increases our metabolism and keeps us full for longer, reducing our craving for carbohydrates.

The pairing of carbohydrates and protein doesn’t create quite as much as an insulin response, so reduces the likelihood of low blood sugar, and the body craving sugars to rectify the normal level for energy and well-being.

So, what are good types of protein to pair with carbohydrates? Examples include meat, fish, nuts, seeds, dairy, eggs, legumes and some grains. Animal proteins contain all your essential amino acids where as plant based proteins require pairing for optimal nutrition.

So next time you have a meal or snack, stop and check if you have quality protein in addition to carbohydrates and fats. Your body will be grateful.

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