February 20, 2017

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How Eating the Right Types of Carbs Can Change Your Diet

How Eating the Right Types of Carbs Can Change Your Diet
By Maria England, ABS Team Member, NDTR

 

A big trend in diets is eating low carbohydrate, but often times the real focus should be eating the right type of carbs! When we think of carbohydrates we often think of starchy vegetables like potatoes, desserts, breads, and chips, but this leaves out all the amazing carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, which are the true champions of the carbohydrate category!

Carbohydrates are actually an important part of our diet and should be 45-55% of our diet. It is the fuel for our body’s energy, which is essential when working out and for every day activities. Carbohydrates such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains also contain vitamins and minerals that are essential for different functions in our bodies. Lastly these same carbohydrates contain fiber, which can help to lower blood sugar levels, decrease the amount of fat absorbed, and reduce bloating!

One of the main focuses in a low carbohydrate diet is reducing the amount of sugar we eat, but this is usually talking about refined sugar that is found in sodas and baked goods. Instead we should be focusing on getting the proper serving of fruits. Fruits have natural sugars in them, which makes them great for when we are craving something sweet. Eating fruit instead of refined sugar desserts is a great way to lose weight because it is lower in calories. For example a normal small cookie is usually about 150 calories, but 1/2 cup of fruit or a small piece of fruit is only 60 calories! Plus desserts do not have any nutritional value, where as fruits have the added benefit of being full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber!

Low carbohydrate diets focus on reducing the amount of starchy vegetables, which is great because they often have more calories compared to non-starchy vegetables. A few examples of starchy vegetables are potatoes, pumpkin, and corn. Just one serving, which is a ½ cup is about 80 calories. In comparison for every ½ cup of cooked or 1 cup of uncooked non-starchy vegetable there is only 25 calories. You can eat 3 times the amount of non-starchy vegetables for every serving of starchy vegetable, which means you can have more variety and larger servings!

Eating whole grains is still very important in any diet. They are a higher calorie food, but the health benefits associated with them are outstanding. This doesn’t just mean products made with whole-wheat flour; this includes wild or brown rice, quinoa, whole grain barley, and bulgur. Over the years, our diets started to include more refined grains like white flour, which has less health benefits. The process of turning a whole grain into a refined grain actually removes fiber, vitamins, and minerals and this is why going back to whole grain foods is so important! Fiber is known for reducing blood glucose, because it binds with sugar and causes it to be released slower when being digested or not be digested at all. It also reduces the amount of fat we digest and can lower cholesterol levels. The recommendation is to eat at least half of your grains as whole grains, but the more the better!

ABS Protein Pancakes was designed to be low carbohydrate and it is made with coconut flour, which is a whole grain product, and there is no added refined sugar. Instead ABS Protein Pancakes is made with Stevia extract, which is non-caloric, and does not increase blood sugar levels. ABS Protein Pancakes also has a minimum of 6g of fiber per serving, which is 22% of the daily-recommended amount of 25g!

Not all carbohydrates are created equal! Focus on a variety of whole foods when it comes to carbohydrates such as whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits. You will notice how many more healthy options and choices you will have by consuming healthy carbohydrates!


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