Summer is winding down and, for so many women, I hear the same mantras:
I need to seriously stop eating sugar.
I have to take a break from alcohol.
I can’t wait for fall, then I can really eat better and stop eating so many carbs.
Carbs. That elusive word for all things bad in this world.
I agree, that if you felt like you “overdid” it this summer, then having a reset (more about that below) is a great idea. In our super distracted worlds, refocusing and getting mindful about what we are eating is never a bad idea.
But, does this mean we need to go on a detox diet and suddenly cut out carbs and other undesirable foods? Not in the least.
What Are Carbs Exactly?
Let me give you a mini education on exactly what “carbs” are. I won’t bore you with the details about carbon chains and atoms. Carbs, or carbohydrates as they are really called, are an essential source of energy that we all need to survive and thrive. Carbs break down into glucose, which is a key energy source for your muscles and brain. The bottom line? We need carbs, everyday in our daily diet, to help keep us alive.
What Are Some Sources of Carbs?
Carbs come from a wide variety of foods. That is a good thing since we need them as an energy source. You could decide to follow the Keto diet and forgo carbs, but I guarantee that very few people last that long on that type of diet. Your brain likes carbs the best and feels its best this way.
Confusion comes because carbs are not only found in vegetables but they are also found in candy and cupcakes. When I hear someone say to me “aren’t carbs bad for me?” I make sure to let them know that there are good carbs and some less desirable carbs. Great sources of carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or millet. Beans are also a great source of carbs too. These sources are full of B vitamins, fiber, phytonutrients and other nutrients that help prevent disease.
The less desirable, also known as processed cars (because they are stripped of nutrition) – white rice, white pasta, ice cream, cake, candy and plain old sugar, can provide a source of energy and little else. Frequently devoid of any other nutrients, these are the carbs that do deserve a bad rap, not the healthy ones above.
What About Fruit? Isn’t Fruit Full of Sugar?
Well, yes, fruit, and all carbohydrates, contain sugars, which convert into glucose so your body can use it as energy. Fruits main source of sugar is fructose, and in a concerted form, such as fruit juice, it is best to avoid this type of food source. Fruit, in its whole form, has a minuscule amount of sugar and lots of water. Never worry about whether or not you should or should not eat fruit. Think of fruit as nature’s vitamins.
Are We Clear on Carbs?
Good. Let’s keep this simple, because I love simple. Some takeaways to remember: WHOLE grains, vegetables, fruits and beans are all good for you. Eat up! The PROCESSED grains – white rice, white pasta, sugar, and a sweets, should be eaten as a treat, not as a mainstay of your diet.
Need Help and Support?
Great! I am starting the next round of the Healthy Midlife Reset at the end of September and I would love for you to join me. I help set the record straight on food, nudge you back to healthier eating, take the guesswork out of what to eat by providing done for you meal plans, gorgeous yet simple recipes and tons of support. It’s a no pressure, fun way to get back on track this season. You can click HERE for more info and grab the early bird price. We start September 30th 2021 online.