The moment a beach vacation, a high school reunion or a friend’s wedding pops up on the calendar, we immediately wage war on carbs.
Certainly no potatoes.
However, is banishing carbohydrates really the best plan of assault to slim down, tone up and feel your best? And of course, where do carbs come into play when it comes to our general|our health|In regards to our general|our health, not to mention, where do carbs come into play? And why have they become the scapegoat for our muffin top?
“People like to say things like ‘I’m on a low-carb diet’ or ‘I’m not eating carbs at this time.’ Normally, they’re referring to pasta and bread, but what many do not know is that milk, fruit and vegetables have naturally occurring carbohydrates!” says Courtney Ferreira, RD, owner of Real Food Court nutrition consulting. “If you’re eating broccoli, you are eating carbs.”
So before you ban every carbohydrate from the menu — know the facts.
Carbohydrates are a actually a macronutrient (along with fat and protein) and they play a very vital role to your general health, productivity and yes, your weight-loss success.
“It is critical for people to recognize that the body’s preferred source of fuel for most ordinary activity is carbohydrate. And your brain and red blood cells rely on carbohydrate almost exclusively for fuel,” says Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, manager of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition. “So after a very low-carbohydrate diet may really shortchange your physical and mental performance; you cut down (or out) so many wholesome foods … and that restricts your intake of several important vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber which are critically important to good health.”
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that 45 to 65 percentage of the calories we consume come from carbohydrates. As it makes up such a large chunk of our diet, it is well worth it to school yourself on the myths that are misinforming the way you consume this important nutrient.
MYTH: Banning carbs means giving up bread and pasta
Fact: Yes … but it would also mean nixing fruits, vegetables and whole grains
Yes, that plate of steamed veggies you ate for lunch comprised carbohydrates.
“Carbohydrates vary widely in terms of their nutrient density, so everything from a green bean, which can be a fantastic source of fiber, protein [and other vitamins and minerals] to a slice of white bread, which doesn’t offer much other than carbs, is considered a carbohydrate,” says Pegah Jalali, MS, RD, CDN, an NYC-based pediatric dietitian.
Rather than saying, ‘I can’t eat that,’ ask, what is a source of carbs that will provide me with more nutrition?
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