Carbs!

“Oh carbs. I could eat carbs all day every day. I love them. I may be addicted to pasta. But, I try to avoid them whenever possible.” – people everywhere

Why would someone try to avoid carbohydrates? There is a misconception that carbohydrates are not healthy and definitely not conducive to weight loss. However, all things are good in moderation and not all carbs are created equal. 

  • About half of your diet should be from carbohydrates, with a focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole (or intact) grains.
    • Tip: whole grain bread is actually kind of difficult to identify in the store- look at the ingredients if the first ingredient does not say WHOLE wheat flour (or sprouted wheat flour), then it is not!
  • There are two main types of carbs 
    • Complex
    • Simple 
  • Complex carbohydrates are slowly digested which causes a more gradual increase in blood sugar. 
    • Examples: brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole grain breads cereals and, pasta, vegetables, legumes (lentils, peas, and beans), fruits 
  • Simple carbohydrates are quickly digested and cause a quick rise in blood sugar. 
    • Examples: raw sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, honey
  • Carbs are NOT “the” problem in weight gain; carbs without fiber and nutrients are the issue- especially if you have diabetes.
    • Complex carbohydrates have fiber (soluble and insoluble)  in them which helps slow the blood sugar spike, keeps you feeling full  as well as helps to lower your cholesterol! 
  • Fiber is your friend
    • Fiber delays gastric emptying and keeps you regular  
  • Americans do not eat enough fiber. Typically they eat about half the daily recommended amount of fiber. 
    • Fiber recommendations are around 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.
  • Everything is good in moderation
    • If you like rice, eat rice, but limit your portion sizes. Think about what else you are eating with the rice.
  • Be aware of carbs in your beverages. 
    • There are TEN packets of sugar in 1 can of regular soda.. 
  • Carbs and weight loss
    • Limit added sugar whenever possible which typically means that you should limit processed foods when possible. 
    • To limit the amount of added sugar you are consuming, look at the Nutrition Facts label

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