The GOOD and BAD on Carbs

Sometimes after we eat something, like a cookie, we think ‘that was not very healthy’ other times we eat a ‘health food’ and don’t even realize it was as bad as having a banana split! One thing you can look for that can set food apart, is the quality of the carbohydrates (carbs). Carbs are our energy source for EVERY cell in our body. We need carbs for our cells, and organ systems, but it needs to be the right kind of carb to do their jobs effectively. It all comes down to definitions. So let’s make sure we understand the difference between Simple Carbs (the bad ones) and Complex Carbs (the good ones).

Simple carbohydrate’s have little or no nutritional value because they were stripped of their nutrients during processing. We call these BAD CARBS. Food companies might ‘Enrich’ a simple carbohydrate food with a few nutrients after processing or if it had NO nutritional value to begin with, they ‘FORTIFY’ it. Examples of these simple carbs would be bleached or enriched flour, white rice, white pastas, pastries, sugary sodas, and even juice. These simple carbs are digested quickly and will compromise our immune system, contribute to weight gain, and promote diabetes and heart disease.

The best sources of energy for our bodies come from Complex carbohydrates, the GOOD CARBS. These can be found in WHOLE grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. They are naturally loaded with vitamins, minerals, and FIBER. They take longer to digest, which keeps us fuller longer, provide a more constant flow of energy for our bodies, promote a proper blood-sugar balance and encourage healthy digestion.

To promote a healthier body, along with Juice Plus, keep these 5 simple steps in mind:

  1. Fill your day with whole grains.Aim for at least 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and LESS than 6 grams of sugar in each serving of your whole grain cereal. If the first ingredient says ‘enriched’ or ‘fortified’ put it back. Look for ‘whole wheat’ or some other ‘whole’ grain.
  2. Stay away from white….instead of white rice try brown rice. Instead of white spaghetti, try whole wheat spaghetti. And, if you’re going to eat a baked potato, try a baked sweet potato. Regardless of the kind of potato, skip the sour cream – eat the skin and load it with other GOOD carbs like broccoli and beans, maybe even a little hummus…yummy!
  3. Choose WHOLE fruit instead of juice. – Craving a little OJ for breakfast? Eat the orange instead, it has 2x as much fiber than 12 ounces of juice, and an apple can absorb 20 times it’s weight in waste
  4. Bring on the Beans. They are slow to digest, an excellent source of fiber and protein and will keep you full for a long time.
  5. Serving size. A serving size isn’t the size of your plate…it’s about the size of a computer mouse.