Carbohydrates 101

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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)
-high-fiber
-unrefined
– 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”:

  • apples
  • Berries
  • cherries (in season now!)
  • grapefruit (also in season now!)
  • beets
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • quinoa
  • 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.

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Notice: All the Same Color = Low Nutrients

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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Can You Hear My Heart Beet? Citrus Beet Salad w/ Mint

Citrus Beet Salad with Mint

Nutrition: Beets are a great source of antioxidants, they are anti-inflammatory and great for detoxification.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium-Large Beets
  • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
  • 1 large orange
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

Directions

  1. Cut medium beets into quarters without removing the skin. Steam beets for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Run beets under cold water to cool. Cut beets into bite size chunks.
  2. While beets are cooking, zest and juice orange
  3. Chop mint into thin ribbons
  4. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well

This salad pairs well with goat or buffalo mozzarella cheese. You can also place the beet salad on top of a bed of arugula and garnish with some toasted almonds.