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Have No Fear, Carbs are Here

Carbs, my ultimate weakness. Sometimes I literally wake up ravenous for a donut or a bagel. Like most Americans, we have been downing these super starchy carbohydrates with almost every meal since we were little kids. We have been programed to think a potato or side of pasta is a staple in lunch and dinner meals, and it’s not uncommon to grab a cinnamon roll or danish for breakfast. These super sweet starches cause your insulin to spike, causing inflammation and eventually diabetes. I had to retrain the way I thought of carbohydrates, but since I have, my diet has never been better.

First of all, carbs are not bad. They are not all muffins and baked goods, there are complex-carbs that are super nutritious. They are considered macronutrients, giving us most of our daily energy. Although many of the pastries and white bread have a high glycemic index, most nutritionists will tell you to not worry too much about this. Although those foods cause a rush of blood glucose, you can still eat low-glycemic index carbs such as whole grains, nuts, legumes and non-starch veggies. These foods actually lower the glycemic index and work to sustain blood glucose. Some healthy carbs with low glycemic loads are sweet potatoes, carrots and even russet potatoes. These are high fiber, high vitamin carbohydrates that should be incorporated into your meal plans. 

Since there are good and bad carbs, it is important not to banish the nutritious ones from your diet. You could be missing out on a great nutrition source that will give you an energy boost as well as even out your blood sugar levels. Make sure you pick and choose your starches based on their nutrition facts, not their glycemic index score.

However, timing is everything with these foods. If you are trying to shed some pounds, eat your carbs earlier in the day so you have time to burn them off. If you want to eat more pasta and bread, just workout more. The more energy your burn, the more carbs you can eat. So next time you are craving that whole wheat bagel, go for a morning jog after you indulge. Balance is everything.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Elsie Hui

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