The real skinny on bad carbs and good nutrition
Good carbs are in their all natural state and unprocessed or altered by man or machine.
Green vegetables are the ultimate good carb foods. In fact, most fibrous leafy vegetables and many fruits are considered among the best carbs to eat.
Beans and legumes are also generally included on the “good carbs” list, as are many raw, unsalted nuts and seeds in moderation.
Finally, whole grain foods including wholegrain breads and cereals (without sugar).
Good carbs are high in fiber which helps you stay full longer (and avoid overeating), provides sustained energy, lowers cholesterol levels, and helps to remove toxins from the body. They are high in nutrients, natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other phytonutrients promote health and help to prevent chronic disease.
Bad carbs are refined, processed carbohydrate foods that have had all or most of their natural fiber and nutrients taken out in order to make them taste better and are more consumer friendly. They have large amounts of empty calories and little or no nutritional value which in turn leads to extra bodyfat. Yuck.
I would challenge you to take a long hard look at what you and your family are eating in a week.
Most baked goods, white breads, pastas, snack foods, processed foods and candies fit into this category.
Bleached, enriched white flour, white sugar and an array of artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives are the most common ingredients used to make unhealthy bad carb foods.
Most of the processed carbs we eat wreak havoc on our natural hormone levels. Insulin production, especially, is “thrown out of whack” as the body attempts to process the huge amounts of starches and simple sugars contained in a typical “bad carb”-based meal. This leads to dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose levels, a big reason why you often feel lethargic after eating high-sugar, unhealthy meals.
Obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other long-term problems arise from consuming an abundance of processed carbs and unhealthy trans-fats found in so many foods. You always have a choice in what you chose to eat and how you feel.
Stay away from bad carbs and you will feel great AND look your best this summer.
Natalie Dreger is a certified fitness professional and can be reached at nataliedreger.com.