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Don’t Fear Carbohydrates

Despite the popular belief, carbs are not the enemy. Carbohydrates give us energy by providing our cells with glucose, which helps our brain and muscle power. However, the important distinction is between refined and unrefined carbohydrates. Refined carbs, like white bread and pastas, cookies and candy, are not the best choices when it comes to healthy foods. Unrefined carbs, however, are those that we consume in their healthiest, most whole forms. These will be released slowly into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes and providing you with lasting sustainable energy.

Here are some healthy carbohydrates you will want to include in your balanced diet.

Potatoes
When it comes to potatoes, many see the sweet potato as the lesser of two evils. In fact, the sweet potato is lauded as a healthful, lower carb option for things like toast. But there is no reason to banish the regular potato from your diet. Potatoes provide vitamin C, potassium, protein, and with the skin on, some fiber. Try them baked or roasted and avoid covering them in cheese or sauces for a healthier option.

Whole Grains
Refined grains have been processed to remove components which house healthy benefits like fiber in order for them to be quickly digested. Unfortunately, it is these refined grains that will spike our blood sugar. Instead, opt for whole grains, like oatmeal, wheat berries, barley, farro, or millet. It is understandable to avoid these if you don’t like them, but if you fear you’ll gain weight, you’re missing out. Eating these in moderation can improve your health and provide you with the energy you need to get through the day.

Sweet Fruits
Do not fear bananas, melons, grapes, and other sweet fruits. While their sugar content may make them taste especially delicious, that does not necessarily make them bad. If you are opting for sweeter fruits, just be cautious of your servings. It is recommended that you get 1½ to 2 servings of fruit a day, but if you’re making a smoothie, beware. It is easy to overdo it with the sugars (at the end of the day, natural sugar is still sugar). Try limiting your smoothie to ½ to ¾ cup of fruit, and add a source of protein to help the sweetness digest more slowly.

Legumes
People may avoid legumes (chickpeas, lentils, black beans) because they think they’re high in carbs. While that may be true, they are also great sources of fiber and protein. Sprinkle them in your lunchtime salad to power through that midday slump. Or you can enjoy them in tacos, chili, casseroles, and more.

Starchy Veggies
Don’t think of corn and peas as normal vegetables. Instead, think of them as starches. Peas contain protein and corn contains fiber, therefore, they can be considered a different category than other veggies like kale and carrots (which basically means you can adjust your portions accordingly).

Which healthy carbs have you accepted into your diet? Share your favorites with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a healthy and delicious meal, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona! We are open weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. Skip the line by calling ahead or ordering online.