Carbohydrates have a bad reputation nowadays. They’ve been branded as the problem child for weight gain, and many popular diets are either carb-lite or carb-free. However, this immediate dismissal of carbohydrates isn’t necessarily the best idea. It’s best not to follow trends in dieting, but to understand how different nutrients and components of foods interact with your body.
Carbohydrates are a macronutrient found in many different types of foods. They’re typically composed of starches, fibers, or sugars. They’re not just in pasta, desserts, and bread; carbohydrates are also found inside vegetables, fruits, and beans. Carbohydrates are crucial so your body can function in an optimal state. Your body is provided glucose through the carbohydrates you eat, and your body converts that glucose into energy to support and continue bodily functions and activities.
So, yes, some carbohydrates are certainly not good for you, there are many that are beneficial for your body and health. The healthiest sources of carbohydrates are – unprocessed or minimally-processed – grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans, while the unhealthy sources of carbohydrates are white bread, pastries, sodas, and other highly processed foods. These bad carbs are much more easily digested and contain significantly fewer nutrients and vitamins for your body, which leads to weight gain and can promote diabetes or heart disease.
Here are some tips for adding healthy carbohydrates to your diet:
- A great start to your day is a healthy whole grain breakfast. Oatmeal (not instant) and cereal that specifically indicates its whole grain are good choices.
- Switch to whole-grain bread. Not only is it less refined, but whole-grain bread provides you with a healthy dose of protein and fiber.
- Walk past the bread aisle in the grocery store. Get your whole grains from other sources like brown rice or quinoa.
- Try substituting potatoes for different varieties of beans. Not only are they digested much slower than potatoes, which lets your body break down all aspects of the food, but they have a high protein content.
- If you’re craving something sweet or fruity, avoid fruit juice and go for the real thing! Typically, an orange has double the fiber and much less sugar than a glass of orange juice.
On top of a healthy diet, it’s a good idea to take dietary supplements to ensure you reach your body’s nutritional needs. A high-quality protein powder can be added to many different foods like pancakes, smoothies, and oatmeal. Some other helpful supplements are BodyK’s Vitamin D3 capsules to support your immune system and BodyK’s Multi-Vitamin Complex dietary supplement to support a variety of functions in your body.