Are carbs good or bad?
Well, until a carb can pick up a bat and hit you or hand you a bouquet of fresh picked flowers, I don’t think they (or any food) can be generalized as good or bad.
Some foods, without doubt, can help you prevent disease more than other foods. Some foods do provide more value to a healthy life than others. And what might surprise you, is that carbohydrates CAN help you prevent disease.
What are carbohydrates and how can they help you prevent disease?
1. What are carbohydrates: Carbohydrates contain 4 cal/gram. They are your body’s preferred source of energy and they cover a WIDE range of foods.
2. Carrots, sugar, cereal, rice, oats, candy, an apple - they’re all carbohydrates, so what are you supposed to do? Are some carbs better at preventing disease than others? You bet.
The statement, “I just need to eat less carbs” isn’t valid. You might actually need to eat more of the right carbs to improve your health and longevity.
We all would benefit from less ultra-processed carbohydrate sources, as a greater consumption of them is associated with an increased risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
3. How can carbohydrates help you prevent disease?Eat more whole food sources, eat more fiber.
Whole food sources of carbohydrates are excellent sources of fiber.
Diets with adequate fiber intake are associated with a decrease in heart disease, stroke, cholesterol. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the US, eliminating carbohydrates that contain fiber doesn’t sound productive, does it?
4. How can carbohydrates help you prevent disease? Eat more whole food sources, eat more minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.
Oxidative stress is an unfortunate part of aging, like rust building on a machine. However, your food choices can promote, or help alleviate it. Want to know the greatest source of anti-oxidants? Carbohydrate rich fruits and vegetables.
Minerals such as magnesium and potassium play a key role in preventing heart disease and maintaining health. Want a supplement free way to increase your intake? Eat more carbohydrate rich dark leafy greens, and fruits and vegetables.
Eat more whole food sources, eat more polyphenols.
Polyphenols are present in fruits and vegetables. Their regular consumption has been associated with a decrease in heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
What does this mean for you?
Reassess the quality of your carbohydrate intake. When you look at it this way, you might see that you need MORE nutrient dense carbohydrates to improve your health.
When you view your approach to nutrition as needing more of the good things, you will find it’s a lot easier to make lasting changes. Need help? Apply to work with me today.