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.