The Truth About Carbs
Carbs or no carbs, that is the question.
Some people say that they never touch bread and pasta and claim that they have rid their diet of carbohydrates. Others say that they limit their carbs but still eat white bread, white pasta and white rice. In order to answer the carbs question, you need to know the difference between simple sugars vs. complex carbohydrates.
There are a wide range of healthy foods that you need every day, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, as well as plant-based proteins, even if they contain carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are found naturally in foods such as fruits, milk, and milk products. They are also found in processed and refined sugars such as candy, table sugar, syrups, and sodas.
Complex carbs pack in more nutrients and are found in foods, such as whole wheat breads, pastas and flour, brown and wild rice, barley, quinoa, potatoes, corn, and legumes, such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and others.
Sugar, Starch and Fiber.
There are three different carbohydrates found in foods: Sugar, starch and fiber. We know we can and should live without sugar, but starch is naturally found in foods that come from plants and it can provide a slow, steady release of energy throughout the day. Fiber, of course, plays a role in our digestive health and comes from plants in the form of fruits, vegetables and beans, lentils, wholegrain breads, and wholewheat pasta. The more fiber and nutrients in a food the more slowly your body will digest them. This makes them more filling and better for weight control.
The term “SmartCarbs” refers to a specific group of carbohydrates that are nutrient-rich and lower on the Glycemic Index. These carbs are packed with fiber so they are digested more slowly, helping you feel fuller longer. Plus, they deliver vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients your body needs. Carbohydrates are the number one fuel source for your brain. The important thing to remember is that carbs are important for energy, so that your body functions properly overall. They are needed for energy to help you think, breathe. and build muscle.
A Healthy Carb is a Good Carb.
In the search for healthy carbs, avoid processed and overly refined foods, like packaged or processed foods. Avoid white foods, such as white breads, white rice, and white pasta. Avoid foods with additives, such as sugar. For example, eating a handful of grapes is better than drinking a glass of grape juice. Baked goods, like cakes, cookies, pies and pastries are loaded with the wrong kind of carbohydrates needed for your body to function properly and to maintain a healthy weight.
As always, check with your doctor to ensure that you are planning meals that are best suited to you and that you are eating the right portions for your body’s individual needs.