Being Healthy and Enjoying Carbs
Are you trying to lose weight in Rochester? Are you addicted to sugar and carbs? Carbohydrates have acquired a nasty reputation associated with weight gain but there are, in fact, carbohydrates that have health benefits. Also, your body needs specific carbohydrates to function well but it is important to know which ones to choose.
Weight Loss and Carbs in Rochester NY
There are various types of nutrients that can be found in all foods and beverages, including carbohydrates. Specifically, carbohydrates are classified as a macronutrient. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It is important to obtain your calories from proper sources of these macronutrients so your body can function. Carbohydrates are a macronutrient that is a plant based food but most manufacturers of food abuse carbohydrates as fillers, like starch and sugar, in processed foods. A sugar molecule is the simplest form of a carbohydrate. This molecule is created through a specific combination of carbon, hydrogen as well as oxygen. Varies combinations of these units creates different kinds of carbohydrates. There are many forms of carbohydrates that are formed naturally and can be found in foods such as:
There are three types are carbohydrates:
- Sugars: This group can be further broken down into smaller groups. There are two types of sugars, naturally occurring and added. Naturally occurring sugars can be found in fruit while added sugars is found in baked goods, candy, sugary drinks, etc. Fruit contains fructose, sucrose and glucose. Added sugar offers empty calories and little to no nutrients. Unlike added sugar products, fruit offers vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is also important to know that the brain functions off of naturally occurring glucose. Fruit is not the only source of naturally occurring sugar. It is also found in milk, milk products and vegetables.
- Starch: This type of carbohydrate is created by units of sugar that have bonded together. Naturally occurring starch can be found in bananas, barley, oats, sweet potatoes, chestnuts, yams as well as various types of beans such as lentils, peas and chickpeas.
- Fiber: This type of carbohydrate is also formed through the bond of units of sugar. There is soluble and insoluble fiber. Sources of natural soluble fiber include oranges, berries, carrots, corn and peas. Sources of natural insoluble finger include watermelon, green beans, broccoli and the skin of peaches and potatoes.
Other words to know: Glycemic Index and Net Carbs
Most people are not aware that the Food and Drug administration does not regulate the definition of many words that are used on foods. For example: the terms “low carb” and “net carbs” have no standard so when they are placed of food labels that does not hold a lot of meaning. The term “net carbs” is defined as the amount of carbohydrates within a food or product not including fiber or, in some cases, fiber and sugar alcohols.
The term “glycemic index” is a term that many people in Rochester have heard, but often do not know what it means. The glycemic index is a system used to classify varies foods that contain carbohydrates and how it may potentially raise blood sugar. There are several natural, healthy foods that you can find that are low on the glycemic index, such as:
- Low fat dairy products
By choosing a weight-loss diet that focuses largely on the location of foods on the glycemic index, you will find that foods such as potatoes and corn will be restricted due to their high ranking. But keep in mind that there are benefits to eating these foods as well so it isn’t always necessary to cut them out of your diet.
Your diet requires many types of nutrients and carbohydrates are one of the essential components of a well-balanced diet but you have to be sure you are eating the right ones! Tricks on finding what’s right for your body:
- Fiber Rich: Make a conscience effort to use whole fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. This is important because canned foods often contain added sugars and preservatives, which are bad! Also, by eating non-starchy foods, which are also high in fiber, such as green beans and peppers, have the ability to help you feel fuller aiding in healthy weight and healthy blood sugar levels.
- Whole Grains: There are different types of grains but they can be placed into two large categories, whole grains and refined grains. All kinds of grains contain carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals. Although they both share some similarities, whole grains are much healthier. Refined grains are not natural but they are a product. This product contains little to no natural fiber, synthetic vitamins, bleached and contain artificial coloring. Whole grains are a more natural source of fiber and also contain potassium, magnesium, protein, B vitamins and antioxidants.
- Low-fat Dairy: Dairy has much to offer you! Dairy products contain not only calcium but protein, zinc, vitamin A and B, magnesium, riboflavin and phosphorus. The key to selecting dairy products is sticking to the low-fat products. This is because the low-fat products have less saturated fat. Saturated fats increases cholesterol leading to higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Also, foods that are high in saturated fat are also likely to be high in cholesterol already thus increasing blood cholesterol even more.
- Beans and Legumes: This category is probably the most versatile as well as the most nutritious. Legumes are a classification of beans that include peas and lentils. They are relatively inexpensive and provide a low fat, no cholesterol option with high levels of iron, B vitamins, folic acid, protein and calcium. This single group of vegetables can provide nutrients for your nervous system, circulatory system and build strong bones. Research has found that by eating less meat and more legumes, you can improve heart health and also help avoid colon or rectal cancer.
- Added Sugars…NO! The hard truth is that there are no health benefits to consuming added sugar. Not only does consuming added sugar lead to tooth decay and weight gain but there is the increased likelihood of developing Type II Diabetes, increased chances of heart disease, higher chances of depression and increased acne production.
Not all food is good food so it is very important to make sure you know what you are putting into your body. By limiting the amount of added sugars, saturated fat and refined grains you eat your body will not only function better but you will feel better. The team at Get Slim Rochester is here to help you reach your goals in Rochester.