The foods we consume on a daily basis are extremely important for achieving optimal health. The nutrition recommendations below for choosing better carbs can help to balance hormones, support weight loss, increase energy, reduce cholesterol, decrease blood sugar levels, and minimize inflammation.
Carbs are mostly found in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, beans, and cereals. They’re also found in dangerously high amounts in many processed foods such as soda, candy, chips, cookies, donuts and snack bars. When you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into sugars to be used for energy, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to match your carb intake with your activity level. Too many carbs can result in weight gain and a host of other health problems.
Carbs to Choose or Lose
Consume a healthy balance of carbs by choosing whole foods over processed products. In general, the more refined a food is, the less nutrients it contains.
Best: nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds herbs and spices
Better: starchy vegetables, gluten-free &/or sprouted grains, raw dairy, etc.
Bad: sugary beverages, cereal, candy, chips, fries, baked goods, etc.
4 Tips for Eating Better Carbs
Enjoy at least 2 cups of vegetables at every meal, especially a green leafy or cabbage family vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, or spinach. Boost veggie intake by starting each meal with a salad or a handful of raw vegetables.
Fresh or frozen berries contain lower amounts of sugar than most fruits and are an excellent source of immune-boosting antioxidants. Berries taste great on their own or added to salads, shakes, yogurt or cottage cheese.
Raw nuts, such as walnuts, almonds and pecans are rich in healthy fats that provide long-lasting energy. Nuts make an excellent addition to meals and provide an easy snack to pack.
Plan ahead so you have plenty of healthy carbs on hand when you’re hungry. Cook veggies in large quantities to save time and yield leftovers. Buy frozen berries in bulk to satisfy a sweet tooth. Stock up on nuts for a quick snack.