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Good Carbs - Choosing Unprocessed Carbohydrates for Weight Loss

Low carb and no carb diets are all the rage yet if not applied properly can be detrimental and misbalancing your body rather than helping you get fit and healthy! You need a good mix of nutrients to function at your best while achieving your health goals but unless you know food nutrients very well then you can easily misfire with your meal planning. Omitting starchy carbs is not the key, picking the right types is.

Many people fail to realize there are 2 types of complex carbohydrates and often confuse simple carbohydrates as replacements for vegetables. Simple carbs are fruits and although natural they are still full of sugar and high on the glycemic index and are definitely not a replacement for vegetables. 1-2 pieces of fruit per day suffice and are best first thing in the day. Some fruits are higher in sugar than others so depending on your needs you may want to eat grapefruits more often leaving pineapple for special occasions since they are very sugary.

Complex carbs are starchy or fibrous so the starchy carbs are the ones most people think of as carbs yet forget the greens, spinach, green beans, broccoli and similar veggies are also carbs and these are what should be the bulk of your carb intake! It is starchy carbs that need monitoring but are crucial for the diet and should be ingested as whole grains only, avoiding enriched flour products. Things like brown rice, quinoa, oats, yams, carrots, squash and legumes are all starchy carbs and should be included as part of your carb intake. Taking these foods in as whole food and trying not to destroy the properties by overcooking or eating only canned items is also a tip you may want to heed!

A good rule is to get 3 servings of fibrous carbs such as leafy greens or broccoli per day and a serving of orange and red veggies. Other items such as mushrooms, onions, peppers, celery, cucumber, parsley and such should also be incorporated into the main meals as they are all rich in precious phytochemicals. Thousands and thousands of these cancer fighting phytochemicals can be found in your produce.

A good rule of thumb depending on your diet preference and style is to utilize starchy carbs 3 times per day in the form of oats, oatmeal or oatbran, tubers and brown rice or an ancient grain such as quinoa which comes organic 99% of the time. Keep your servings moderate to large if you are not on any specific diet and especially if you are in endurance sport which brings you toward eating the higher end amount. If you are cutting and leaning then you would stay with a lower to moderate amount with a serving under a cup with each time you ingest your starchy carb meal.

Some people are finding the quinoa, kamut, spelt and millet choices ideal since gluten intolerance and siliac issues are being found in more and more people. Choose your carbs wisely but please do eat them!

By Linda Cusmano






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