Make Carbohydrates your healthy minded friend

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Make Carbohydrates your healthy minded friend

Guess what?! Carbohydrates aren’t evil! They aren’t the reason for all our problems, and they don’t solve problems either. Believe it or not, popular media and fad diets have altered our perception of the facts!

I am going to get a little factual here for a moment, and then we will talk about why some carbohydrates may be hard to live with. If you want to get a little science-y, check out this article from Precision Nutrition.

The fact is that our bodies need many things to function, including carbohydrates. So what are carbohydrates? They are anything that breaks down into sugar in our bodies. What do carbohydrates (sugars) do for our bodies? The answer is many things, but mainly it provides us with energy. Without energy we have nothing; we need energy for the efficient function of our brain, muscles (including the ever so important heart), and cells, to name a few.

Okay, so we need carbohydrates. Now let’s talk about good vs. evil carbohydrates. The truth is that there is no such thing. All carbohydrates are needed and therefore good, but moderation is key, and a lack of moderation is where carbohydrates can become a problem.

When we eat the “unhealthy/evil” carbs, they are easy to eat in copious amounts. Think about the last time you ate cookies, cake, soda, beer, white pasta, or chips. Did you eat more than you thought you would? Maybe even to point that your stomach hurt because it was so full? Anything eaten in excess becomes unhealthy, and those “bad” carbs are easy to go overboard with. Now think of the last time you ate vegetables, fruit, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, or beans. Did you eat so much that your stomach hurt? Likely not. Why do you think this is? Why is one easy to overeat and the other easy to moderate?

When we eat the “evil” carbs, we scarf them down before our stomach even has a chance to tell our brain that it’s full and we should stop eating. Therefore, we end up overeating these foods. It really is that simple; they get the “evil” reputation because of consumption quantities. Yes, there are the facts that “healthy” carbs have more fiber and keep you fuller longer, but the big difference between evil and healthy is consumption quantity. So go ahead and eat whatever you wish, but please follow the tip below to develop healthy and well-rounded eating habits.

Tip of the day here is that the next time you decide to have “evil” carbs, make a decision to have them. Do you actually want it, or are you eating it because it’s there? Do your best to be conscious and mindful. Actually taste the food by eating it slowly and savour every bite. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying “extra yummy” food in moderation. Our goal is to eat to nourish our body at least 90% of the time, and the other 10% is to enjoy the finer things. By eating slowly and mindfully you will enjoy that 10% and be less likely to begrudge the other 90% of the time.

*This is not medical nutrition advice. If you have questions about your health please consult your physician or a registered dietician.

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