FUEL FACT: Although many people struggle with getting enough protein in their diet, the other extreme is eating too many carbs. Not all carbs are bad--your body needs carbs for energy and for brain function. The key is to choose the right kind of carbs!
CARBS include fruits, veggies, grains/cereals/bread, and starchy foods. Ideally, you want to choose carbs that are not processed (come in a box or a bag), but rather come straight from nature (fruits & veggies, whole grains). Carbs that are high in fiber are also better for you because they digest slower, giving you more sustained energy and making you feel fuller longer. Fiber is the key to losing weight without feeling like your starving yourself.
FUEL FIX: Choosing the right carbs is simply a matter of knowing which carbs to choose and including a healthy choice with each meal/snack.
Fruits: Opt for fresh or frozen fruits vs canned or juice, which usually have added sugar. Fruit does have sugar, but it is natural and can easily be digested by the body. Substitute fruits for desserts or use them to jazz up a salad or protein shake.
Vegetables: Opt for fresh or steamed vs sauteed or creamy. At restaurants, make sure to ask if they are cooked in any butter or sauce, and if so, ask for it on the side or without. Colorful vegetables that are in season are your best options.
Grains/cereals/bread: Choose whole grains vs enriched or refined grains, which tend to strip the grain of its nutrients and then add the nutrients back in. Read your ingredient labels and make sure the first ingredient is WHOLE GRAIN/WHEAT. Also, make sure the fiber grams are greater than the sugar grams, indicating a less processed food. Quinoa and oats are your best choices for whole grains.
Starches/Pasta: Starchy foods are good in moderation, such as potatoes and pasta. But make them more of a condiment rather than a base (bowl of pasta, bed of rice). Try to limit these and focus on green carbs instead.
Proverbs 21:5 tells us "good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts only lead to poverty." Learning to change your food habits and resist unhealthy foods will take some kind of planning and diligence to keep it at in order to overcome your bad habits and temptations. But it is possible, and it is work that is well worth the effort! So keep moving forward!
What are your questions or thoughts on carbs??