When trying to eat a healthy diet whether it is to lose weight or simply to live the healthiest lifestyle you can, it can be confusing trying to understand what’s best to eat and what to avoid. Carbohydrates (carbs) can be really vexing since there are “good” carbs and “bad” carbs. What’s most important, however, is the type of carbohydrate you choose to eat because some sources are healthier than others. The amount of carbohydrates in the diet is less important than the type of carbohydrates in the diet.
Foods high in carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. However, carbohydrate quality is important; some types of carbohydrate-rich foods are better than others:
- The healthiest sources of carbohydrates—unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans—promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients.
- Unhealthier sources of carbohydrates include white bread, pastries, sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods. These items contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.
Try these tips for adding healthy carbohydrates to your diet:
- Start the day with whole grains.
Try a hot cereal, like steel cut or old fashioned oats (not instant oatmeal), or a cold cereal that lists a whole grain first on the ingredient list and is low in sugar. A good rule of thumb: Choose a cereal that has at least 4 grams of fiber and less than 8 grams of sugar per serving.
- Use whole grain breads for lunch or snacks.
Look for bread that lists as the first ingredient whole wheat, whole rye, or some other whole grain —and even better, one that is made with only whole grains, such as 100 percent whole wheat bread.
- Look beyond the bread aisle.
Instead of bread, try a whole grain in salad form such as brown rice or quinoa.
- Choose whole fruit instead of juice.
An orange has two times as much fiber and half as much sugar as a 12-ounce glass of orange juice.
- Pass on potatoes, and instead bring on the beans.
Choose beans for an excellent source of slowly digested carbohydrates. Beans and other legumes such as chickpeas also provide a healthy dose of protein.
Read more online at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/carbohydrates.html
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