That’s that catch - picking the healthy carb. Some carbs are just healthier than others. It is important to be sure to be including the healthiest carb option when selecting, and we will discuss that further here.
Carbohydrates provide dietary fiber, sugars and starches that help the body function well. The sugars and starches supply energy to the body in the form of glucose. Glucose is the preferred fuel for your brain and nervous system.
Carbohydrates are classified into 2 main types:
- Starch: must be broken down before your body can use it as a glucose source. Examples of starch are certain vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas, dry beans), breads, cereals and grains.
- Fiber: Dietary fiber is naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cooked bean and peas.
- Sugar: it is the simplest form. It is natural in milk, milk products, fruits and vegetables.
- You might be familiar with the 3 kinds of sugars: Fructose (fruit sugar), Sucrose (table sugar), and Lactose (milk sugar).
- These also include sugars added during the processing and refining of foods.
- Emphasize on fiber rich fruits and vegetables. Aim for whole fruits and vegetables without added sugars. Stay away from juices, fruit canned in syrup, and dried fruits. Whole fruits and veggies add fiber to your diet, which help you feel full longer and protect your heart.
- Choose WHOLE grains. Whole grains provide us with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are removed during the refining process. Make at least half your grains whole grains (if not more).
- Don’t forget beans and legumes. They are low in fat and high in vitamins. They have good fats, fiber and protein- so they are a good and cost effective substitute for meats.
- Limit added sugars. Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners. Added sugars provide calories but few nutrients.
Between now and November Annie Deremeik, our Fit N Fun Nutritionist, will be guest posting for us! Annie is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist.
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