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Carbohydrates: Good or Evil

Article Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi, October 12th, 2011


Carbohydrates continue to be the center of an ongoing debate. They have gotten a bad rap over the years from dieters everywhere. Let me make one thing clear, all carbs are not created equal.

Your body needs carbohydrates. But not just any carbohydrate. If you are a white bread, white pasta, white rice loving kind of person, this will be hard to hear. The white stuff has got to go. It is not what your body needs. In fact, they are doing your body more harm than good, holding you back from losing weight and gaining energy.

In simple terms, when you eat food from white flour your body treats it much like sugar. Because white flour is stripped of nutrients, it takes your body no time to digest it. It enters your blood stream too fast, spiking your blood sugar. This is more than your body can process at one time so it stores the excess as fat. (Yep, it is not just fat that makes you fat).

What your body needs is whole grains. Brown food. Whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and quinoa. In fact if the first ingredient on the package does not say “Whole Grain” put it down. Companies like to confuse you with terms like “enriched flour” or “wheat flour”. That means it is white flour that has been stripped of the wheat germ, bleached and had some nutrients added back in. Not good enough.

Whole grain foods give your body energy. The body has to work hard to break them down and that means there is nothing left to store as fat. Even more important are the nutrients that come in whole grain foods such as energy producing B vitamins, iron, and vitamin E. Whole grains are loaded with fiber so a sandwich made on whole grain bread will keep you fuller much longer than one made on white.

Adding whole grains into your diet is one of the easiest and most impactful things you can do. Almost every white food has a whole wheat alternative. Try this:

  • Switch all of your bread, tortillas, bagels and buns from white to whole wheat.

  • Use brown rice in place of white rice. It works just as well in all recipes, even in sushi.

  • Try a new grain. Quinoa, millet, kasha, amaranth, whole wheat cous cous all make fantastic substitutes for rice or pasta.

  • Use brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta or whole wheat pasta in place of regular white pasta. (Beware; even the veggie colored pasta is made of white flour).

Whole grain carbohydrates fuel your metabolism and give you energy, so eat and enjoy.


Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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