Coach G’s Nutrition Corner: Variety, the spice of life. Part 3 of 3!!!
Variety, the spice of life. Part 3 of 3!!!
Sugar, bread, pasta, cereals, rice, fruits, vegetables, corn, etc. Carbohydrates are easily the nutrient that we see the most of. Look at any meal and/or snack and you better believe, there are often lots of carbs present. I am not going to tell you that carbohydrates are bad, because they aren’t. However, there are ones that deserve a place in your daily nutrition plan, and others that you could do without. For discussions sake, lets call them “good” and “bad” carbohydrate sources, but remember, you are human, and you will probably eat a little of both at some point.
Let’s start with the “bad” carbs. To keep it simple, I think of the bad carbs as being ones that have been processed or refined in large amounts. Think about white bread, pastries, sugary candy, sugary cereals, pastas, French fries, etc. Most of these processed carbohydrates have been stripped of their nutrients and provide you with very little value. The “good” carbohydrates consist of the unprocessed or minimally processed options. Vegetables, whole fruits, whole wheat, whole rye, quinoa, brown rice, beans/legumes, etc. These carb sources have not been superheated and broken down prior to your consumption. Being unprocessed allows more nutrients to be utilized by your body. Many of what are considered good carbs contain several other important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Fiber being one of the most important, good carb sources typically come with higher amounts of fiber, which will aid in digestion, absorption, and elimination. When looking at your plate, the carbohydrates sources should be from vegetables and whole grains, not all pasta and potatoes. If you can switch your nutrition to consume higher amounts of good carbohydrates and limit the bad, you will be taking a huge step towards healthier eating.
When shopping and eating out follow these simple rules to help increase the good carbs in your nutrition and minimize the bad. Look at the nutrition label next time you are at the grocery store. Foods that are minimally processed typically have fewer ingredients, contain whole grains, and will fit better into your healthy eating plan. When eating out, order steamed vegetables instead of French fries, order a healthier appetizer instead of bread or chips to snack on. And most importantly, do your homework and know what restaurant you are planning to sit down at. Some places are easier to order healthy then others. So, remember you do not have to be perfect and never eat a bad carbohydrate again. But if you are consuming good carbohydrates in moderation at most meals in your day, the occasional bad carb will be a treat and you can enjoy it guilt free.
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