I love bananas, carrots, and corn on the cob. There is no substitute for my mom’s Potato Salad and an apple a day really does keep the doctor away. So, why do these fruits and veggies get a bad rep and why are people swearing them out of their diet? It’s the low carb craze, and it hasn’t gone away. Carbohydrates are a main source of energy for the body. They supply 4 calories per gram, ironically the same as protein. The USDA recommends we get 6-11 servings of them a day. People have a love/hate relationship with carbs and I am here to break it down for you.
There are two types of carbs:
Simple Carbs: Sucrose (table sugar), lactose (milk sugar), glucose and fructose (fruits and veggies). Simple carbs are in sodas, sweet treats, candies, basically all processed foods contain added sugar.
Complex Carbs: Starches and Fiber. They are in bread, grains, beans, potatoes, corn, rice, and pastas.
I’d also like to talk about the Glycemic Index:
Foods with carbs in them effect your blood sugar in different ways. This is measured using the Glycemic Index. Simply it measures how quickly a food is digested and then the glucose in it absorbed into the body which then raised your blood sugar. The problem with this index is that it only takes into account the food if you eat it alone. Corn all by itself will spike your blood sugar, but corn with brown rice won’t.
Food high on the Glycemic Index: Potatoes, Sugar, Corn, white rice, white bread, doughnuts, cake, carrots
Foods Low in the Glycemic Index: Apples, Ice Cream, Beans, Nuts
Are you confused yet? Still wondering what you should and should not eat?
Here is what you should eat, and why:
1. Low fat dairy products or vegetarian dairy substitutes such as soy milk and almond milk because they contain calcium and protein.
2. Whole Grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pastas) because they are digested slowly and are loaded with vitamins, protein, and fiber.
3. Vegetables and Fruits- any of them!!! No one ever got fat by eating fruits and vegetables. They are vitamin and fiber powerhouses and contain very little calories.
4. Beans because they contain fiber which may help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, keeps your bowels happy, and keep you feeling fuller, for longer.
Here is what you shouldn’t eat, and why:
Processed Foods. Cookies, candies, soda, etc. A good rule to follow is that if the ingredients contains more then 2-3 ingredients, then it is processed. They are full of oils, chemicals, and fat.
Don’t get me wrong, JB’s parents make some pretty amazing desserts that I have never said no to. You just need to pick and choose. Don’t eat dessert ALL the time. Have it every now and then so that it is a treat. You don’t have to swear off french fries, but you should not have then every week.