Get Real…Carbs that Is!

My good friend, Elaine, from Thailand sent me this picture of some fruit that she eats. Some is quite funny looking and,  yes, these are all REAL carbohydrates. But let’s back up. What do you think of when I say “carbs?” If you’re like most the list might look something like this:

  • breads
  • grains
  • cereals
  • pastries (i.e. donuts, bearclaws, croissants)
  • cookies, cakes, brownies

…and these are carbs too:

  • starchy vegetables: potato, sweet potato, artichokes, yams, cooked carrots/tomatoes, green peas, squash
  • fruit
  • fruit juices
  • some milk products
  • legumes (beans)
  • alcohol

Growing younger and feeling great means that we have to understand how to use carbs to our advantage.

First it was fat but now carbohydrates have become the villain in our weight loss battle. Many people have done the Atkins diet at one time or another to lose weight. But eliminating carbs for more than a couple weeks at a time can be a very bad thing. Carb restriction can cause:

  • low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) – causing a more sluggish metabolism
  • depression – low mood from low serotonin levels – our feel good brain chemical
  • intestinal bloating
  • low energy
  • poor sleep
  • poor brain function: too much sugar is harmful to the brain, but too little sugar is even more harmful
  • aches and pains
  • PMS
  • migraine headaches
  • irritability

I hope you’re thinking what I am. Wow! Carb restriction can cause the exact opposite result of what I’m after. So, what’s the solution? Eat whole, real carbs. Carbohydrates break down into sugar, either quickly or slowly depending on what type you eat. Whole, real carbs will keep you feeling great! They will help to keep your moods stable, energy high and body lookin’ good! So what are whole, real carbs you ask? Here is the list:

  • Vegetables (in season)
  • Fruits (in season)
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains

These carbs are much higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They break down into sugar more slowly than the refined carbs. If you want to grow younger then this is your new carb list. By sticking to whole, real carbs you eliminate all of the man-made, processed carbohydrates that keep us fat and wrinkled with high cholesterol. No kidding. Too many “bad” carbs will raise our cholesterol levels. You never want to eat a carbohydrate alone as it will convert to sugar too quickly so always enjoy carbohydrates with protein.

© Robin Nielsen, NC

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