Carbohydrates, are they good? Are they bad? Low carb? No carb? Eat your grains. The contradictions are endless. The truth is, your body needs carbohydrates for energy! You just need to make sure you get the right kinds everyday.
- Whole grains are better than processed (white bread, white pasta, etc). Look for bread that has “whole wheat, whole grain, whole rye” – anything with the word “whole” as the first ingredient! Wheat bread or multigrain bread are not as good as whole wheat bread.
- Vegetables and fruits are healthy carbohydrates that also give you vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Instead of drinking a glass of orange juice, eat an orange instead- it has less sugar and much more fiber.
- Beans are a good source of carbohydrates as well as protein. They also have fiber which keeps you full.
- Look for cereals that have whole grains as the first ingredient, at least 6 grams of fiber per serving, and are low in sugar (less than 8 grams per serving).
- White bread, white rice, and white pasta break down fast into sugar and can lead to weight gain and diabetes.
- Candy, cookies, cakes, sweets, and pastries will send your blood sugar shooting up and then crashing down. This leads to diabetes and can also make you feel tired. And, eating more sugar can make you crave it more.
- Sweetened drinks like soda and fruit punch, sweetened tea, and even 100% fruit juice, have tons of sugar, and can also cause you to gain weight and raise your blood sugar. Plus, drinking sugary drinks doesn’t even fill you up the way food would, so you’ve got lots of calories but will still be hungry.