How to Make the Right Choices When it Comes to Carbs

Carbs are an extremely controversial topic these days. Nutritional guidelines recommend that we get about half of our calories from carbohydrates. While others claim that carbs can cause obesity and serious health problems and that most people should be eliminating them.

While both sides make a good case, it looks like that your nutritional requirements for carbohydrates are based mainly on you, the individual. Some may function best with a lower carb intake, whereas others are just fine eating loads of carbs.

What Are “Carbs”?

Carbohydrates or what we refer to as carbs in nutritional terms means it’s one of the three main macronutrients; Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats.

The key use of carbohydrates in your diet is to provide energy.

Not all carbs are created equal.

There are numerous types of carbohydrate-containing foods and can vary greatly in their health and nutritional benefits. Carbs can be referred to as “simple” vs “complex,” or “whole” vs “refined”.

Complex or whole carbohydrates are unprocessed and contain fibre found naturally in the food.  Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, fruit, legumes, potatoes, and whole grains.

Simple or refined carbohydrate are processed and had the natural fibre stripped out, usually also deficient in essential nutrients and are just “empty” calories.

Top 4 Carbs to include in your diet

  1. Lentils: contain 115 grams of carbs for every 200 gm of lentils. They are also a great source of proteins which keep your immune system healthy and Curbing hunger.
  2. Quinoa: a whole grain, that is rich in protein, iron, and fibre. Keeping you fuller for longer. The protein supports the repair cells and helps generates new ones. PLUS it can be a great alternative for diabetics.
  3. Sweet potato: a great source of good carbs and are a rich source of fibre. They can help in boosting your general metabolic function and help improve cardiovascular health. You can bake them as chips, roast them and add in your salad or even make a delicious soup!
  4. Brown rice: most people end up eating white rice but it’s polished and stripped of its nutrients. While Brown Rice contains antioxidants and fibre and a good source of manganese. A plus for diabetics – brown rice is known to lower blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Carbohydrates to avoid:  White Sugar, Fruit Juices, Fizzy drinks, White bread, French Fries, Potato Chips, White rice, Refined flour, Regular white Pasta, Regular Cookies.