Sunday, July 29, 2012

Keeping it Simple: Carbohydrates

There was a commercial that was playing in the background as I was rushing to go somewhere...I can't remember where. Anyway, I can't remember the exact wording, but it went something like this "It's always changing...carbohydrates are good..carbohydrates are bad". This commercial really got under my skin.  It's commercials like these from the media that ruins nutrition information.  On the other hand, it is true that with other aspects of nutrition (not all), and with ongoing research, other nutritional "news" may change. However, when it comes to carbohydrates, media has continually given this important macronutrient (a major nutrient that is essential to our existence) misrepresentation. Carbohydrates has been proven for years that we need it for our bodies to function properly. That will not change.

It makes me cringe (although I keep my mouth shut) whenever I get together with our women's Bible Study group, and they're proud to announce that the bread they're using for our sandwiches is "low-carb". That's nothing to be proud about!! 

So, let's just keep this simple. The number one fuel  source our body depends on is carbohydrate. The desirable carbohydrates our bodies should have more often are fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, whole grain pastas, whole grain rice, and potatoes. These food items give our bodies various vitamins, various polyphenols, and fiber. Intake of these foods results in a healthy body. The less desirable carbohydrates are desserts (like cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream), white bread, white pasta, white rice, and sugar-filled drinks such as sodas. These food items certainly gives us calories, but they do not always necessarily give us the nutrients we get from the other food items previously listed, especially fiber!  If you're going to take in calories, you want calories that will give you good bang for your buck...meaning that the calories you take in are calories that come with nourishment. Calories devoid of nutrients is not worth taking in. Continually taking in calories that do not have adequate nutrients can lead to a nutrient deficiency, which you do not want to experience. On the other hand, if you also cut back on your calories too much on a daily basis to lose weight, well ready to enter the malnutrition zone and feel horrible. But hey, if that's where you want to be, then that's your prerogative.

Anyway, please don't be swayed by the negative reporting of media. We NEED carbohydrates, just like we need protein and fat in order to be healthy; however, we do NOT need any of these macronutrients in excess. Excess intake of any of these macronutrients (and not exercising regularly) can lead to unused calories at the end of the day resulting in a caloric pile-up. Since this pile-up of calories has no where to go and are not being used, then they happily and gladly to turn into fat and extra weight. Really, it's just as simple as that. So, proceed with mindful moderation. Happy eating to all of us!
My favorite undesirable carbohydrate is ice cream...which I have once in a while!:)  What's yours?


Carbohydrates Foods said...

Carbohydrates are highest source of energy apart fat but excess use of carbohydrates high up the cholestrol level in people.

Anonymous said...

There is a movement now that advocates low-carb intake. Supporters (and they are many) say that people were deceived by the industry to consume grains as a daily basis and that fats should bring up to 50% of a daily calorie intake, especially saturated. Really! They sopport their arguments by studies. They say that the recent change from the pyramid to myplate is due the fact that scientists finally realise the bad impact of eating grains. I wish somebody tell the truth. Were people deceived?