Eat These Carbs Every Day!

Are you one of those people who has been conditioned to believe that carbs are bad for you? If you are, you’re not alone. For years the media has molded our perception of carbohydrates leading us to think that if you want to lose weight or get fit you should avoid them at all cost. But, carbohydrates are the number one, most important source of energy for your body. They are essential. And in fact, eating certain carbs is critical to losing weight.
The truth is, you should avoid certain types of carbs if you want to slim down. But, there are actually some carbs that you should definitely not avoid – in fact, you should embrace them!
First, let’s cover the carbs that should be on your list of foods to steer away from.
  • Refined, white flour, and processed carbs like bagels, breads, muffins and other baked goods
  • White pasta, white rice and white flour foods
  • Candy, sweets and sugary treats
  • Sugary drinks like soda, juices and blended coffee drinks
You’re probably not surprised to see any of those items on the “avoid” list. But why are they there? They all fall under the umbrella of refined, processed carbs. When you eat them, your blood sugar level will spike giving you a definite but very temporary burst of energy. This is always followed by a dip in your blood sugar and a subsequent crash. And what comes after that is usually a pretty intense craving for more refined, processed carbs. They are all loaded with empty calories that are void of any nutrients or fiber. And, though some of these foods like bagels are fat free, that does not mean they will not add fat to your body. Too much of these foods will even increase your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are healthy carbs that are loaded with fiber, nutrients and vitamins. They are things like whole grains and whole carbs that can help keep your blood sugar levels steady, boost your metabolism, lower your cravings for unhealthy foods and keep you energized. They include foods like:
  • Sweet potatoes, white potatoes and all types of squash
  • Whole grains like oatmeal, barley and flax
  • Legumes like chick peas, black beans, white beans, lentils and peas
  • Brown rice, quinoa, farro and spelt
  • All fruits including bananas, apples, oranges, melons and berries
You should feel free to eat these foods each and every day. Try to consume them in as close to their whole, natural form as possible. So, if you’re going for potatoes, have them boiled or baked instead of fried and not slathered in cheese or sour cream. Choose real oats that you cook on the stove top instead of pre-packaged oatmeal with added sugars and artificial flavors. Choose whole fruits instead of blended fruits or smoothies. Have your brown rice steamed with simple seasonings. The key to getting the most of all these foods is keeping them as true and pure as possible.
But hey…wait a minute. You might be asking yourself why whole wheat bread is not on the list of healthy carbs. Here’s why. Real, genuine whole wheat bread is in fact a healthy source of carbohydrates. But, the “healthy” whole wheat and whole grain breads you often see in the supermarket can be very deceiving. If you look at their ingredients, you’ll likely see things like high fructose corn syrup or a blend of whole and enriched wheat. You’ll also see added chemicals to lengthen the product’s shelf life or improve its texture. These additives completely outweigh any benefit you’d get from the bread’s whole grains. So, unless you’re making the bread yourself or buying from a natural bakery, stay away.
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