Why do we need carbs?
· Energy – The body uses carbs as its main source of fuel.
· They protect us from diseases. Whole grains and fiber from unprocessed whole foods can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
· They help control weight. Eating a well-balanced diet of fruits, veggies and whole grains can help maintain weight.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 - 65 % of our daily calories. When deciding which carbs to eat, focus on quality because not all carbs are created equal. The most common forms are sugars, fibers and starches.
And, don’t worry, it’s easy to separate the good from the bad.
Good carbs are full of fiber. They are absorbed and digested slowly so that they don’t spike our blood sugar levels. They include unprocessed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans.
Examples: chickpeas, lentils, steel cut/old fashioned oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, barley, bulgur, whole fresh/frozen fruit, low fat dairy products (milk, cheese and yogurt)
Bad carbs include foods loaded with sugar and foods that are refined – processed.
Examples: white bread, white rice, white pasta, white flour (white anything lol!), sugary drinks, desserts and candy, French fries, refined cereal , pastries and any highly processed foods
In the age of diet crazes and fads, low-carb diets have become really popular for some looking to lose weight. These diets are often difficult to sustain and in some cases lead to later weight gain.
Remember, not all carbs are bad, but you must choose wisely!