carbohydrates are not the enemy…

carbohydrates are not the image

If carbohydrates are not the enemy why are they treated like the Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde of the food pyramid?   Carbs are the misunderstood food group.  Foods that contain carbs have eye appeal, flavor, warmth and usually a fond memory attached.  Therefore we are apt to eat more of them than we should.  But, as bad as it is for us to eat too many carbs it is just as bad for us to eat too few. 

The key to any healthy eating plan is knowledge.  When we understand what our bodies truly need to function properly and stay healthy, then its all about moderation. 

I would go as far as to say that I love carbs.  I love the foods that contain carbs.  And I am extremely happy to know that I can have them in moderation. 

 The following is an excerpt from an article I read on the Spark People website.  The entire article has a great amount of detail about the effects of eating a diet rich in carbs as well as the effects of a low carb diet over time.  It is definitely worth the read. 

I know all of the details in the article are extremely important but I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl (pun intended).  Put the cookies on the bottom shelf (I know but I couldn’t help myself).   What I am trying to say is I  just want to know what I can and can’t have.  Give it to me straight!  So here it is:

The Million Dollar Question
How do you include carbohydrates in you diet in a safe, effective, and controlled way? The “Please KISS Me” (Please Keep It So Simple for Me) plan for carbohydrate control is a wonderful tool that only contains 3 simple rules:

RULE 1: Include the following in your diet:

  • Fruits: 2-4 servings daily
  • Vegetables: 3-5 servings daily
  • Whole grain breads, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal, and brown rice: 6-11 servings daily(the government recommends 3 other sources recommend 5-10)
  • Legumes, beans and peas: 1-2 servings daily
  • Low-fat and non-fat dairy products: 3 servings daily

RULE 2: Limit the following to less than 2 servings daily:

  • Fruit Juice
  • Refined and processed white flour products (bread, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal)
  • White rice
  • French fries
  • Fried vegetables

RULE 3: Eliminate the following from your diet or eat only on occasion:

  • Sugary desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, candies
  • Doughnuts and pastries
  • Chips, cola and carbonated beverages
  • Sugar, honey, syrup, jam, jelly, molasses

Since starting on this new healthy eating plan I can say that I have eliminated all of rule #2 and #3.  With the exception of a squeeze of natural agave syrup from time to time.  But its nice to know I can have french fries if I choose. 

6-11 servings of whole grains per day seems like a lot of whole grains, especially when I think I am currently only getting 2-3/day.  I am going to have to re-think this one and figure out how to incorporate these suggested good carbs into my somewhat balanced diet.

Carbs are not the enemy when you eat a well-balanced diet.


Filed under Eat to Live, postaweek2011

16 responses to “carbohydrates are not the enemy…

  1. I have eliminated most of #2 and 3, I agree with the grain thing, that seems crazy! I am slightly lacking in the legumes and dairy though

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  3. I like carbs (baguette) in the morning

  4. Danny Terrill

    My biggest problem is eating out. I do ok at home and when I eat in the office. It is when I eat out that I eat the wrong things.

    • I love to eat out! It is one of my favorite things to do. Eating out and healthy eating dont go hand in hand in most cases. But a splurge day now and again is something to look forward to.

  5. Tina

    Good article. This food pyramid has been around for years. I think we complicate it too much sometimes. When I go to a restaurant and I want to eat healthy, I tell them I’m on Weight Watchers and ask what they recommend and they always have good suggestions!

  6. I’ve never been inclined to cut out carbs ~ we tend to eat whole grains, brown rice, pasta with extra fiber, and whole wheat bread. I also make sure that at least half of my plate is filled with fruits and veggies to make sure I get plenty of fiber.

    I eat cookies and other sweet treats . . . but only in small quantities.

    Are you feeling better with your new eating strategies?

  7. I love carbs, too. I don’t know when to say ‘when’, though. When I go to Olive Garden, I can’t stop eating the breadsticks and I know they aren’t good for me at all.

    I have a soft spot for sourdough bread, too. I’ve started eating half sandwiches (one slice of bread) so I can still enjoy it but not feel like a pig.

    Good for you for elliminating #3…I’m still struggling there!

  8. It really is about moderation… There was a time when I had a highly demanding job with long and late hours; moving constantly on our feet. We burned lot of calories and I would eat late dinner and still look like a stick… I consumed few calories, so it didn’t matter when I ate. It is about moderation not what or when we eat. 🙂

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  10. Yes, yes, and yes! We need to remember that the processed and refined carbs are the ones we need to avoid. And to eat that cookie as a real treat – not a daily snack. Excellent post.

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