Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

The recent low carb diet craze has left many people with the impression that carbs are the enemy.  This is absolutely not true!  Carbohydrates are essential to your diet, providing fuel for your muscles, and important nutrients for your brain.  There are two kinds of carbohydrates that occur naturally in our food: simple sugars and complex carbohydrates, also known as starches.  Simple sugars occur naturally in honey, sugar, milk, and some sweet ripe fruits like grapes, apples and tomatoes.  Complex carbs, or starches, occur in grains, breads, cereals, pastas, vegetables, legumes such as peas and beans, and rice.  Both kinds are necessary to a healthy functioning body.

So when it comes to carbs, it’s not a matter of cutting them out entirely, as many of the recent diet fads would have you believe—it’s a matter of choosing the right kinds.  The single biggest problem with the American diet is also the single biggest problem with our carbohydrate consumption: we are choosing processed carbs that are poor in nutrients and high in sugar, salt and calories that do not nourish our bodies.  Carbs that are processed lose most, if not all of their nutritional value, and are chock full of unnatural chemical preservatives that prolong shelf-life but harm your body.  Examples of carbs you should avoid include: white bread, white pasta, cookies, cakes, deep fried foods, fruit drinks, sodas, conventional and processed milk products, fried potato/corn chips, candies and all types of junk food.

You should look to get your carbs from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, nuts, beans, high fiber cereals and snacks, brown rice cakes, organic or raw milk products.