Carbs: Debunking the Myth - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Carbs: Debunking the Myth

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

FOX19 Now invited Jennifer Bain from Stress Free Nutrition to explain how to properly include cards in your diet. She answers the most common questions to debunk the myth below. 

What are carbohydrates in our diet?

Carbohydrates is a term that includes both sugars and fibers. "Complex carbohydrates" often refer to fibers. There are two types of fiber, soluble fiber (digestible) is just a very long chain of sugars that our body very slowly breaks down and uses as energy. Insoluble fibers (or indigestible fibers) is also a very long chain of sugars, unlike soluble fiber our body does not break these down and therefore these carbohydrates do not increase our blood sugars.

Why we need them:

Primary source of energy for our body and the only source of energy for our brains.

They allow body to use protein for more important work such as transporting nutrients through the body, protecting our cells from damage, and writing our DNA - our genetic code which makes us who we are.

Plus, fiber (a carbohydrate) keeps our digestion healthy, reduce the risk of obesity, help control our blood sugars, and reduce the amount of cholesterol in our body.

How much we need :

Carbohydrates should be about 60% of our diet. So, more than 1/2 of your plate at any given meal should be carbohydrates

Which carbs to eat:

We want to eat carbohydrates that provide vitamins and minerals, not just energy or calories.

Plants are the best source of carbohydrates because these provide a lot of vitamins, minerals, and water with very few calories.

A goal to strive for is 10 plants a day. About 6 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of fruit.

Other foods that we want in our diet are very low processed grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Whole grains such as steel cut or old fashion oats, any kinds of beans, even ground flax seed are all great sources of complex carbohydrates.

How to shop for them:

When shopping for carbohydrates it is best to stay in the parameter of the grocery store. Always start in the produce section, this is where you will find your vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Also, frozen fruits and vegetables are a great, affordable option. Often these products have very little processing and may even have more nutrients then the fresh produce because they are picked in season and immediately frozen locking in all the good vitamins and minerals. 

When reading food labels it is important to read the ingredients, not just the nutrition facts. Look for terms such as 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat. This is a good starting point, especially for cereals and breads, on those days when you just don't have time to cook breakfast or lunch.

It is all about what you add in to your diet not what you limit or restrict. Limiting and restricting foods from your diet only increases the desire to eat those foods and leads to frustration and failure. 

Instead, focus on adding more carbohydrates in our diet, though make it the right carbohydrates.

In general, I tell clients to strive for servings of plants a day (vegetables and fruits), 2 servings of nuts, and 2 servings of seeds. This may not be realistic every day, and do not let it become stressful. It is just a generalization. If you add more optimal carbohydrates in your diet you will certainly see results, increase in energy, better skin/hair, mental clarity, maybe even weight loss.

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