Good carbs, bad carbs. What's the difference?
Carbohydrates are in just about everything we consume – and if you're trying to skip carbs altogether, your health could suffer!
Carbs are in fruits, vegetables, breads, pasta, beans, oatmeal, dairy, and treats such as muffins, donuts, cakes and pastries, cookies, and pop. It's extremely difficult to 'delete' carbs from our diet, and they're there for a reason - WE NEED THEM!
Our body makes glucose from carbohydrates, and glucose is our main energy source. Without glucose, we often feel tired, have headaches, feel thirsty, foggy, and moody.
Glucose can be used right away – such as if you're going to run or walk a marathon, shop for many hours on end, or spend the day gardening. Glucose can also be stored away in our body for later use – like when you wake up in the morning, and get up full of energy after many hours of fasting.
THE BEST CARBS TO EAT:
The following are some of the best carbohydrates you should be consuming on a daily basis, and without fear!
Steamed vegetables: Like spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots. Typically the brighter the colour, the higher in nutrients.
Whole grains: Oatmeal, kefir, brown or gluten-free pasta, whole grain breads (in moderation, as bread can contain a lot of sugar)
Nuts and seeds: A handful of almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds. You can also add these in to your salads and stir frys.
Berries: Most berries are a great source of fibre and carbs, and can be added safely to breakfast pourridge, shakes and smoothies, or eaten as a snack.
Beans / legumes: Chickpeas, red kidney beans, lentils, etc.
THE WORST CARBS TO EAT:
There are many foods that are high in carbohydrates, which we are accustomed to eating TOO MUCH, and on a regular basis. This is often referred to as the "North American Diet", and should be eaten sparingly as a treat only, or on special occasions. They include:
Fast foods: Like french fries, pizza, hamburgers
Sauces, dips, salad dressings – including ketchup, ranch dressings, even store-bought Italian dressings.
Cakes and pastries – including cookies, muffins, donuts, pie
It is possible to enjoy a take-out meal without the guilt! Just make sure you're not eating out often, that you shop healthy and "replenish" your body after eating out (with lots of fresh steamed green and orange vegetables, and a good quality probiotic!), and plenty of water to 'flush out' impurities and toxins that tax your liver heavily.
Most of all, EXERCISE. Whether you join a gym for walking on a treadmill, take a swim class, or go for plenty of walks, exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. You cannot expect to be healthy just by eating the right foods. Motion is lotion!