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Balance Your Carbs for a Healthy Diet

By Tom Herrin

Many of us try hard to maintain a healthy diet.  There are plenty of challenges as diet trends seem to constantly change.  A few years back, there was a lot of emphasis on low fat diets.  In recent years, it seems that reducing carbs has been the big thing.  Some diets have focused on forcing the body to burn fats in place of carbs in an effort to manage weight and improve health.  Carbs are actually not so bad as they are essential for our bodies to function.  Understanding the differences between the two primary types of carbs may help us make better decisions about our diets.

Simple Carbs Are Too Easy to Get

It isn't that simple carbs are all bad, but many of the things we eat or drink as a quick snack are considered to be simple carbs.  They are easily converted to energy that can be burned, but that energy is not very long-lasting.   Many people grab something they know is a snack hoping to use it for a source of quick energy, but a 2019 study suggested that the effect may actually be due to an energy low that happens s a little while after consuming the snack.

Complex Carbs Are Quality Foods

When we refer to complex carbs, we are generally referring to the foods that we were always told we needed to eat.  These include the green and yellow vegetables that are known to be really healthy.  The complex carbs break down much slower and, as a result, they last longer and provide energy for a longer period of time.  If we include these in our diets, we will have pretty healthy meals.  If we are going to cut carbs, let it be those that burn fast.  Of course, some of us need to be careful with some of the starches as they may be problematic for those who have trouble processing sugars.

What About Juices?

Many of us drink juices with breakfast.  They contain some good vitamins and minerals, but some of them also contain added sugar.  Reading labels carefully may help to determine whether or not they should be included with our diets.  If the juices have too much sugar, you may want to consider eating a piece of whole fruit instead.  That should mean less sugar and, maybe, more fiber.    

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downers Grove, Ill.

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