Sunday, April 26, 2020

How to choose some healthy carbs

So much carb confusion.  I am always amazed at how someone will take the top bun off a hamburger to cut calories but then eat a large order of fries and a large Coke.  They think the bun is bread so it is fattening while they load up on the added sugars in the Coke and the added fat in the fries.  The Dietary Guidelines don’t tell us to cut the carbs or to cut back on bread.  We actually need grains in our day, every day, every meal.  What are some healthy carbs we should have in our diet and what do the Dietary Guidelines say about carbs?

Dietary Guidelines and carbs – what are the recommendations?

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines have nothing to say about cutting back on bread, even though so many people say they are cutting back on carbs and mean they are cutting back on bread.  The Dietary Guidelines really only advise on added sugars as those are the carbs we should cut back on.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend:  Limit calories from added sugars to no more than 10% every day.  For the average person that eats about 2000 calories a day, that would be 200 calories or about 12 teaspoons of sugar.

What are “added sugars”?  One would think this would be simple but people think orange juice has added sugar, a banana has added sugar when there is no added sugar in fruit.  Added sugar is sugar food manufacturers add to food products like soda, sweet tea, candy, some cereals, yogurt, cake, cookies.  Foods that naturally contain sugar, like fruit, cow’s milk, vegetables do not have added sugar.  But Almond Milk like Silk Almond Milk is high in added sugars as are juice drinks like Sunny D.

 What are the good, healthy carbs we should be adding to our day?

Rather than cutting carbs, our diets should have about 50% of our calories coming from carbs, but healthy carbs. In fact, Harvard notes:  “Foods high in carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet.”  Why – energy?  It is the carbs that provide the energy, the glucose, every cell in our body needs.  Low carb diets can be low energy diets. 

Whole grains – start your day with whole grains.  So easy to do.  Make some instant oatmeal, choose a General Mills cereal, toast a whole grain bagel or whole grain English muffin.  Going to Chipotle?  Choose the brown rice which is whole grain.  I have written many times about whole grain, healthy chips (Add some whole grain snacks to your day.) I love chips and often have some for lunch.  But usually they are whole grain chips like Sun Chips.  At dinner, enjoy some brown rice or quinoa which are whole grain.
Brown rice is whole grain and a healthy choice.
Fruits and Vegetables – all are healthy.  Fruit juice – enjoy 100% fruit juice and not the many fake fruit juice drinks like Sunny D.  A student in my class recently said they went to the store and bought some “juice” and was surprised to read the label and note it had a lot of added sugar.  She then realized what she was buying was not real juice, but a fake juice drink loaded with added sugar.  The only ingredient in juice is juice.  Find some way to add some vegetables to your day.  And yes, that vegetable can be a baked potato, or beans or some frozen French fries with the skin on.  

Why are whole grains, fruits and vegetables so healthy? 

 They not only are loaded with vitamins and minerals but also fiber which so many people aren’t getting enough of.  Not to mention the healthy antioxidants fruits and vegetables provide.  Vary the color and you vary the antioxidants you get.  

Don’t like vegetables?  Try juicing and add some veggies that way.  Or, drink your vegetable with some V-8 Juice like the V8 Fruit and Vegetable blends which are 100% juice with no added sugar.  

How can you add some healthy, energy-boosting carbs to your day?
Real juice and no added sugars.

No comments:

Post a Comment