Most people searching for nutrition services have trouble finding a program that works for them. After all, it's not easy to escape the sugar and carbohydrates present in many food products that populate the shelves of grocery stores. However, the notoriety that some macronutrients have is largely undeserved. In reality, carbohydrates are necessary for your continued health. The real challenge is deciphering the food labels and figuring out which carbs are right for you.
An abundance of nourishment that can be derived from meals is found in the form of carbohydrates. As was mentioned before, a carbohydrate is a type of macro nutrient along with protein and fat. It is of vital importance to get your daily recommended amount of calorie intake through these macronutrients. Carbs are generally found in plant-based cuisine. However, this naturally occurring nutrient is now overused in a number of refined foods that overuse starches and sugars. Sugar is the most natural form of carbohydrate available. It arises from a unique assortment of the molecules oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. The difference in the arrangement of these molecules results in the multiple forms carbohydrates can come in. The organic sources of carbohydrates include:
- Whole Grains
- Fiber: This kind of carb is created through the chaining of multiple molecules of sugars. It is important to note that are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Fiber can be found in healthy foods such as lentils, almonds, peas and broccoli and much more.
- Sugars: There are two general groups of sugars: organic and added. Organic sugars are found in a variety of fruit while added sugars can be found in pastries, soda, and sweets. The key difference between the two sugars lies in the natural sugars; tendency to also pack key nutrients like fructose. On the other hand, added sugar provides almost no nutritional value besides pure energy. The human body is designed to run on organic sugars and has adapted to deriving this energy from a number of healthy foods such as carrots, bananas, and pineapples.
- Starch: This brand of carb is also a result of the chaining together of sugar molecules. Good sources of starch that are natural include vegetables and grains.
- Legumes: This family of food is as diverse as it is delicious. Legumes encompass a wide variety of beans and are an excellent food that packs a punch on a budget. This mighty food group provides your body with the building blocks for a healthily functioning brain and skeletal system. Some scientists believe the key to cardiac health is choosing legumes over red meat!
- Fiber-Rich: Be sure to choose fiber-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits. A good rule of thumb is to opt for fresh varieties as opposed to those in cans. This is because manufacturers often opt to use preservatives to keep those vegetables and fruits edible. Fiber-rich foods are essential in allowing you to maintain a proper circulatory system.
- Low-fat Dairy: Dairy is an amazing source of nutrients. Apart from offering everything from calcium to vitamins, it also comes in a variety of fat options that allow it to meet the needs of just about any healthy diet. Consuming low-fat dairy is linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and related circulatory system issues.
- Whole Grains: There are many kinds of grains. However, they can easily be organized into two distinct groups: whole and refined. Every kind of grain has carbs, minerals, and vitamins. It is considered a best practice to opt for whole grains because of their organic origin. The fact is, natural grains are not manufactured like refined grains. In addition, research shows that whole grains are able to hold more of the important nutrients (such as antioxidants) as opposed to their refined counterparts.
- Added Sugars…NEVER! The facts plainly show that there is no valid reason for added sugars in your diet. While they may offer a sweet escape from time to time, added sugars over time can lead to an unhealthy weight, tooth cavities, cardiac issues, and more! It's best to stay far away from this deceptively sweet menace!