This country with all it's diets has made the population absolutely scared of carbs. But do you blame them? Most of the weight gain comes from carbs. PROCESSED carbs that is. But people still assume any carb is bad for you.
For the first 7 months of being Diabetic, I was more than paranoid of the word carbohydrates. I thought they were deadly. I thought sugar was the reasoning behind me being diagnosed with Diabetes in the first place. I wanted nothing to do with them. Well, of course that only lasted 7 months when I realized I physically can't avoid all carbs for the rest of my life. So for the next month I binged on every carb I could find because once I had that first bite of that white sugar it was all over. So, obviously that doesn't work well being Diabetic. I had to find a happy-medium with carbs.
So I took several hours with researching, talking to dietitians, and finding the reasoning behind carbohydrates and where they get there bad rap from.
So which is which? Are carbs good or bad for you? The short answer is both.
What is the difference between a piece of white bread or a piece of whole wheat? What's the difference between eating french fries or a side salad with kidney beans, spinach, tomatoes, and carrots. Well, all of them are carbohydrates, but the second answers to those questions are that they are carbs our body is needing.
So what makes the difference? Fiber. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans are all loaded with Fiber. Fiber is indigestible, therefore taking it a lot longer to absorb into our system, avoiding spikes in our blood sugar levels.
White bread and white rice have zero fiber content. They are not necessarily bad for you, but they carry absolutely zero nutrition value. So they are waisted and empty carbs, which can cause weight gain if you're only eating empty carbs. Fiber is so important to our bodies because it helps prevent colon cancer and promote weight control.
Men aged 50 or younger should be getting 38 grams of Fiber daily. Woman aged 50 or younger should be getting 25 grams of fiber a day. That's why eating our vegetables is so important. Most of the fiber in a fruit comes from the skin of the fruit. Apples, peaches, apricots, blueberries, plums, mango's-all of these are rich in fiber from there skins. Oats are especially good for fiber and lowering risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and also lowering cholesterol.
An added plus, is that fiber helps people feel more full, so they aren't as hungry throughout the day. Which is why oatmeal is so recommended for the mornings.
So what we want to do is pay more attention to the carbs that are high in fiber. Before buying breads, check 2 things-make sure it says 100% WHOLE WHEAT (not whole grain) and check the fiber content. 2-4 grams of fiber is very good for a piece of bread. Make the switch to whole wheat in every possible way; buns, rolls, tortilla's, pasta, crackers, bread. Add some beans to your salad. A 1/2 cup of beans can add up 4-8 grams of fiber to your day. Just eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables will give you about 10 or more grams of fiber, depending on what you choose. Making these little adjustments can make a world of a difference.
What you want to stay away from is of course Sugar, "Added" Sugars, and refined "white" grains. (ex. white rice, white bread, white pasta)
Just remember THE WHITER THE BREAD, THE FASTER YOUR DEAD. (that always helps me remember, ha)
This was in an article in the 2008 Diabetes Forecast:
"There’s no way to sugarcoat the truth: Americans are eating more sugar than ever before. In fact, the average adult takes in about 20 teaspoons of added sugar every day, according to the USDA’s recent nationwide food consumption survey. That’s about 320 calories, which can quickly up to extra pounds. Many adults simply don’t realize how much added sugar is in their diets."
Just being aware is the first step. Read the labels and always check the fiber content. Making these small and simple changes will make a HUGE overall difference in your energy, and health!