If your goals are weight loss, controlling diabetes or managing blood sugar for hypertension, hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, be sure to place emphasis on quality carbohydrates:
-natural (vs. processed)
– and unprocessed
Through the Atkins diet and several other nutrition trends, we have become afraid of carbohydrates. Often times we believe that carbohydrates are THE answer to weight loss and managing blood sugar. The problem is that when you cut them out completely the body craves more sugar for energy, leading us right back to the carbohydrates we have been desperately trying to avoid. Clearly, cutting out all carbohydrates or severely limiting carbohydrate intake is NOT “the” answer.
Think of carbohydrates as your fuel. They provide the body with energy. Rather than cutting out them out completely (which has proven to be extremely harmful to health), choose better quality carbohydrates and moderate your portion size. Another key nutrition concept-that will help regulate the affect of carbohydrates on the body- is to consume fiber, fats and protein with carbohydrates as opposed to eating the carbohydrate on its own.
Here are some of my favorite “healthy carbs”:
- cherries (in season now!)
- grapefruit (also in season now!)
- sweet potatoes
- brown rice
- adzuki beans
When it comes to your health, these choices far surpass the options for the processed white sugar and white flour products such as pizza and pasta.
The amount you consume depends on your body type, metabolism and fitness level however, about 1/2 cup of the healthy carbohydrate choices listed above, is a good average serving size.
Remember that you do not —and actually should not– completely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Make good choices, work on moderate portion sizes and create a balanced diet.
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