Think a healthy diet means cutting out carbs? Think again. The right kind of carbohydrates is actually very important for giving your body the energy and stamina it needs. That being said, some carbs are better for you than others. Want to know more? Let’s start with a refresher on just what exactly carbs are.
The simplest carbs are sugars, i.e. fructose, glucose, lactose and sucrose. These occur naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables and milk products. When lots of these sugar molecules join together you get a complex carbohydrate, such as starch, which can also happen naturally in foods. Fiber is also a complex carb, and like other complex carbs is found in vegetables, grains and dried beans.
Carbs as Fuel and More
Your body’s main source of energy comes from carbohydrates, which are broken down into simple sugars. If you cut back too far on carbs, or eliminate them altogether, you will be left feeling lethargic with reduced energy levels. The problem arises when you have too many carbs and your body doesn’t use them all for fuel; the excess simple sugar turns to fat.
What’s more, fiber from whole grains is believed to help reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as being vital to your digestive system.
Finally there is weight control. Eating the right kind of carbs, like the ones found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can help you feel full without a lot of calories.
The Right Carbs
So it all comes down to picking the right carbs—unprocessed carbs and avoiding any items with vital wheat gluten added to them. Basically gluten on steroids, the addition of organic vital wheat gluten leads to an unnatural amount of gluten in the finished product, which our bodies simply can’t handle. Here is what you want to focus on in your diet:
- Fruits and vegetables—Fresh, frozen or canned is fine, just opt for those with no added sugar.
- Whole grains—These provide more fiber and nutrients than refined grains which have had many important nutrients removed.
- Low-fat dairy products—Not only do foods like milk, cheese and yogurt provide a good source of calcium and protein, but they provide good carbs, too. Choose the low-fat versions to cut back on calories and saturated fat.
- Beans—Otherwise known as legumes, these are nutrient powerhouses, providing protein, potassium, iron, fiber and so much more. They also just happen to be low fat and cholesterol free.