Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Word On Carbs

I find it interesting to see the fascination with carbs in our current society. While there are so many restrictive diets that can possibly work for weight loss. Many are severly lacking in nutrition and a ticket to bad health down the road.

Example: My mom used to do the grapefruit and eggs diet. I've heard of rice only diets. Honestly you could probably pick any unutritious food and create an unhealthy diet. In college, I used to go buy packaged cookie dough and eat a spoonful here and there and nothing else... it got me down the road and I paid for it in poor health. My aunt lost weight drinking nothing but diet coke... we won't even go into how dangerous that is and she looks dreadful now... I will say that aspartame a key ingredient in diet coke is lethal.. it was once a biological weapon. I know it's a hard habbit to break but if you can... do. It's so unhealthy for you.

Carbs are another key nurient that has gotten a bad rap and it is hurting people as a result.

Our bodies and those of your family need nutrients. There are 50 nutrients the body needs. 40 of them can ONLY be obtained through food. Denying yourself of these is going to result in bad health.

Three categories are needed in mass amounts. They are our energy. These are Carbs, proteins and fats. I am not fond of a diet that is lacking in two of these at all and neither should you be. A tiny waist CAN be achieved with a balanced diet so why deprive yourself of necessary nutrients that will result in bad health for much of your later adult life?

The other necessary nutrients are vitamins, minerals and water. Ideally you should be getting these from your food....not an over the counter pill.
And that calorie you are always measuring? It's simply a unit of energy. The amount of energy it takes to raise on gram of water one degree centigrade.
There is, based on our activity level and age an amount of calories necessary to provide us the proper energy to function in daily life.
The big problem comes when we eat processed foods (lacking in nutrients and loaded with more calories than we could ever use - not to mention chemicals that are toxic.)
There is also the struggle with emotional eating which I promise is just a reaction to the addictive substances they put in foods to get you to eat more. It's a sad sad world right now but this is very true. The even more depressing thing is that the weight loss industry has jumped in, putting addictive substances in their supplements and foods as well.Those addictive substances addict you and cause you to crave more, making you continually on a diet and continually buying their product. Even worse, they are seriously lacking in nutrients which will HURT you.... good business sense for those selling. Bad choice for you and I.
There's no getting around the health in a natural, healthy - diet. Base your diet on foods found in nature. Limit those pretty packages that will hurt your families health and waistline.
So lets discuss carbs. I will tell you why you "should" be eating them.
Carbs are natures primary source of energy. Think of any vegetable, grain or fruit and you are looking at a carb.
Carbs are also in sugars - often derived from plants.
There is sucrose (table sugar), lactose (in milk - cow sugar;) Fructose - the most delicious and sweetest found in fruit, and then glucose, galactose and maltose.
 Sugars are often described as bad but they themselves are not. They are a lovely compliment to any food. They are "not" however meant to be eaten alone or in mass quantities. Make sure you are getting your nutrients any time you eat a sugar.
The common trend now is empty calorie foods that are all sugar with no nutrients. Eat like this and you'll likely have too many calories and not enough nutrients.... making you a very sick person.
The nutrients will fill you up, leaving you satisfied, nourishing your body and keeping you healthy.
So, instead of a high sugar empty calorie food... pick something with lots of nutrition and keep sugar for flavor enhancing instead.
Ie. a jello salad with fresh fruit instead of a candy bar, Apple crisp instead of a doughnut, potato salad loaded with veggies and fresh potatoes instead of potato chips etc.
Some think honey is better than sugar. There is actually not much more nutrition in honey and more calories. Sugar isn't so bad. Even Jillian Michaels said it. There are only about 15 calories in a teaspoon. Using it for flavoring is lovely. But use it on nutritious foods to provide flavor to something your body needs. You'll love yourself for it.
Complex carbs are the best form. They are high in starch and fibers.
They also supply necessary nutrients to the body - vitamins, minerals and water.
Fibers are the structural parts of plants that can't be broken down when you digest your food.
They help to promote digestion moving food through your digestive track- like a big broom sweeping out the ickies (known to be a preventative for colon cancer)
They contain antioxidants (know to help prevent cancer). They regulate cholesterol levels which helps to avoid heart attack and stroke.
Eating plenty helps to control weight!! Due to their high fiber, you will feel full sooner and stay full longer. You won't fill up with that doughnut at all... but eat some whole grains or a fruit salad and you will be satisfied and nutritious as well.
Because the body needs more time to break down complex carbs, the energy lasts much longer. You won't feel tired right after.
They are also usually low in fat - thus you're getting health without the extra calories.
High fiber foods to choose? fruits, peas, grains, cereals(not high sugar cereals rather oats, grains etc), beans, nuts. The less processed they are, the better. :)
Whole grain flour, pasta and tortillas are ideal. For some breads, I like a mix. My pie crust wasn't near as delicious using 100% whole grain flour. But limit the white as much as possible while maintaining health.
So while it may seem odd,
Oatmeal cake.. may be healthier for you than a diet candybar.
A baked potato with skin is better than a protein shake
Choose a fruit salad with gelatin and cream over a protein bar.
The health is in nature's nutrition. The first choices above will fill you up, provide you with more nutrients and keep you full longer. Not only that, they honestly taste much better. So be that 1950s housewife and do the work necessary to make the delicious healthy food. You can do it ;)
A note on reading labels.
Review the two below:
Cereal 1
Calories 170
Calores from fat 10
Carbs 38g
Sugar 3g
Fiber 5g
Ingredients: Wheat, barley, salt, yeast
Cereal 2
Calories 110
Calories from fat 15
Carbs 23g
Sugar 12g
Fiber 1g
Ingredients: Corn flour, sugar, oat flour, brown sugar,
Looking at the two cereals above, the second has less calories. This is where so many of us make mistakes.
Note the calories from fat. Cereal one has less.
But cereal one has more carbs. That's bad? or is it?
Look at who has more sugar. Look at who has more fiber
Look at the ingredients.
When you are reading labels, you can't go by calories and carbs. You need to consider overall nutrition.
Cereal 1 is very clearly the healthier cereal WITH it's higher calories and higher carbs. It is far healthier. It has healthier ingredients, is higher in fiber, lower in sugar etc. It is far more natural with less processed sugars etc.
I hope this was helpful and you feel ready to take on those label and eat healthy complex carbs.
You will enjoy a much lovlier 1950s figure in doing so.
Much love,

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