Carbohydrates, found in cereals, bread, pasta, and sugar, as well as vegetables, fruits, tofu, beans, and dairy, provide the body with the most efficient fuel for energy production and brain activity. They are nutritionally essential, a principle currently downplayed by the “low carb fad.”

What is important to understand is that not all carbohydrates have the same “fuel efficiency.” Many carbohydrates, referred to as “refined” or “simple,” cause highs and lows in blood sugar that can result in a period of high energy followed by a period of extremely low energy, often leaving a person craving more carbohydrates. simple quick release.

Examples of these “refined” carbohydrates are regular pasta, white bread, sandwiches, and baked goods. Weight loss plans that advocate eating less or none of these foods are on the right track, except that they tend to rule out GOOD carbs, too. We’ll call them “slow carbs,” and here’s why:

After eating, carbohydrates in food are broken down and released as units of sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream. “Slow carbohydrates” are foods that release glucose at a slower rate.

These foods are typically “whole foods”; that is, they contain the fiber and minerals that are often removed when making their refined “quick-release” counterparts. (That’s the difference between whole wheat bread and white bread.)

Choosing “slow carbs” over refined carbs helps keep your blood sugar in balance (positively affecting your hunger, mood, and mental focus, among other things). Fiber also promotes regularity and helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Examples of “slow carbs” are whole grain breads and crackers, potatoes with skin on, beans and legumes, brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain pasta.

Here are five tips for creating a “slow carbs” habit:

1. Whole foods: eat as naturally as possible. Vegetables, fruits, beans, and lentils are whole foods that contain all of their original nutrients (fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates for energy).

2. Grains and Breads: When it comes to cereal products like breads, crackers, cereals, and pasta, choose “darker” varieties of whole grains. This can be done both in restaurants and at the grocery store.

3. Snack: fruit is an excellent snack. Consuming the whole fruit provides the slow-release carbohydrates and will maintain your energy for longer, unlike fruit juice, which provides the body with a quick release of the sugar from the fruit into the bloodstream. Another great snack to try is the sliced ​​red bell peppers with hummus (made with chickpeas).

4. Take the time (you deserve it!) – Since some of the slow carb options take longer to cook (eg brown rice vs. white rice), make them ahead of time and make more to freeze in the future. foods. Brown rice is very versatile; Try it in soups, stews, stuffed vegetables, or for breakfast (warmed) with cinnamon, raisins, chopped walnuts, or ground flaxseed.

5. Read labels: “Whole wheat” (or other “whole” grain) should appear before any other flour on the ingredient list. White flour can be disguised as “wheat flour,” “enriched flour,” “unbleached flour,” or “grain flour,” to name a few.

Working to replace “slow carb” foods in your lifestyle will ensure that you have enough energy, adequate nutrition, and maintain a healthy weight. Of course, it’s also essential that you find some ways to stay active and limit high-fat, high-calorie snacks as best you can.

(c) Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services.

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