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Foods that Contain Healthy Carbohydrates
- When you cut out the carbs, you also cut out an important energy source, as well as one of the important macronutrients your body needs to function.
- The basic rule if you are trying to maintain your current weight is to consume 250 grams of healthy carbohydrates every day.
Many of us have heard that carbohydrates are bad. The emphasize just a few short years ago on high-protein diets seemed to push dieters further away from ostracizing carbohydrates from their lives but doing so comes at a cost. When you cut out the carbs, you also cut out an important energy source, as well as one of the important macronutrients your body needs to function. The key isn’t to eliminate all carbs but to choose only healthy sources of carbohydrates.
Two Types of Carbohydrates
Carbs come in two categories: complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates get their name because they are more difficult for the body to digest, usually because of their high fiber content. When eaten in moderation, these can be healthy carbohydrates. You’ll find them in most vegetables, all of your whole grain foods, as well as in potatoes.
On the other hand, simple carbs go through your system quickly. They provide more sugar to the body which means they can be an excellent source of quick energy and a good way to raise blood sugar if you are diabetic. Fruit carbohydrates are one of the best and healthiest simple carbs. Most simple carbohydrates are not good choices for your diet because they contain high quantities of sugar. Cakes, cookies candy, and syrup are all examples. Any sweet sodas or teas would fall into this category as well.
Moderation is the Key
While you want to find healthy carbohydrates, you still don’t want to overdo your intake of them. Although orange juice can be a wonderful carb source, if that’s all you drink during the day you’re going to have ingested quite a few calories which is not healthy.
The basic rule if you are trying to maintain your current weight is to consume 250 grams of healthy carbohydrates every day. To give you an idea of how much carb-rich food that number represents, an entire cup of whole wheat pasta will provide 30 grams of those carbs. A half cup of orange juice or 17 grapes provide 15 grams.
Sweeteners: To Use or Not to Use
If you’ve started reading food labels and you want to avoid bad simple carbohydrates, you should look for sugar on those labels. Keep in mind though that not all sugar is going to be labeled as such. Many of the sweeteners used in our products come under a number of names, such as high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, and nearly a dozen of others. Don’t be surprised if you see multiple sources of sweetening in a single product either.
Of course, if you’re serious about reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, you may want to consider artificial sweeteners. Many of these are on the market and although some have been controversial people continue using them with little negative results. One concern, however, voiced by some is that the sweetness from them can actually stimulate your appetite and end up making you eat more food which overshadows the purpose of using the artificial sweeteners in the first place.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Menu17 Dec 2008|