Carbohydrates have gotten a lot of bad press in the past few years with the advent of low carb diets, but the truth is that not all carbohydrates are “bad” and, in fact, your body needs carbs to survive.
Many people mistakenly believe that eating bacon, eggs and steak will set them on the road to a thinner body with increased energy and good health, but this is not the case. While cutting out the simple carbohydrates found in processed foods is a healthier way of eating, neglecting the complex carbs found in fruits and vegetables can be hazardous to your health.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with enzymes, vitamins, minerals and fiber. All key ingredients to your health. They also contain antioxidants which can help your body fight disease and may even help ward off certain kinds of cancer.
Picking The Best Carbs
The old saying “you are what you eat” has a lot of truth to it. You get the energy that your body uses as well as your nutritional needs such as vitamins, minerals and fiber from the foods you eat. Doesn’t it make sense, then to eat foods that will provide your body with the best fuel possible?
You want to avoid foods that are processed. I’m sorry to say that most foods that can be found in packaged in your supermarket like cookies, cereals and even white bread are filled with “bad carbs”. These foods are often processed to taste better and all the nutrients are stripped out in the process. Then chemicals are added in to prolong shelf life and add to color and taste. Your body has no use for these empty calories so when you eat these foods it is a big drain on the body to digest them and try to salvage any nutritional value from them.
The fruits and vegetables, on the other hand are filled with nutrients. When you eat these, your body gets lots of high energy fuel that it can use to keep up your energy levels and help your body fight off disease. In addition, the enzymes found in the fruits and veggies aid your body in the digestion process, thus freeing it up for more important activities.
So, in reality, carbohydrates are both good and bad. It is up to you to make sure you fuel your body with more of the good carbs for optimum health. A good rule of thumb when shopping is to stick to the outside aisles of the grocery store and avoid the middle. Buy as many fresh fruits and veggies as you can (organic if possible) and frequent your local farmers market to purchase locally grown produce if you are lucky enough to have one near you.
Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora T. Gedgaudas
Tags: antioxidants calorie carbohydrate chemicals disease fiber food health minerals nutrition organic tea veggies vitamins