Hello SOTGC Community,
There are plenty of common misconceptions about carbohydrates these days. The whole low-carb phase of recent years brought on by Atkins and others has led to many of these unfortunate misconceptions. Carbohydrates are not the problem many people now believe they are; it is that we choose the wrong carbohydrates – white bread, white pasta, processed foods like chips and cookies – foods that are high in carbohydrates without much nutrition value. We also tend to eat more than we need to when it comes to carbohydrates and thus consume more calories, which lead to weight gain. Let’s shed some light on the truth about carbohydrates.
Myth: Carbs make you overweight. Truth: Eating too many calories, from any food source, not just starches and sugars, causes your body to produce extra pounds of body fat.
Another truth about carbohydrates is that they are the primary source of energy for our bodies. Thus, they are essential for human body functioning. People who go on a low or no-carbohydrate diet are often fatigued, constipated, and grouchy. Their bodies are crying out for carbohydrates.
As health conscious eaters, we need to learn how to choose the right carbohydrates, not eliminate the whole of them. There are so many other carbohydrates available that are loaded with nutrition and flavor. These are whole food carbohydrates – carbohydrates, chosen wisely, that are minimally processed, including whole wheat bread, which is high in fiber and rich in taste; legumes (black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, fava beans) that are high in folic acid and amino acids. Quinoa, a seed, is a complete protein (containing nine essential amino acids) and sweet potatoes, which are an excellent source of beta-carotene.
Even the white potato is an excellent source of fiber and B-Vitamins, though it loses its nutritional value when it is peeled and fried. Lets not forget about fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, yes, eat the rainbow and some dairy products which contain carbohydrates but that are also rich with nourishment.
Fruits, when you really look at them from a dietetic standpoint, would be considered carbohydrates, and we would never consider fruits bad. Eating an apple is a much better choice than eating two cookies. While the two may be equal in calories, the apple provides fiber, vitamins and will satisfy the appetite a lot better than two little cookies.