Help, I want to lose weight and my provider told me to decrease my carbs. What is a carbohydrate?
Here's the quick and simple explanation, the Carbs 101 if you like. Carbohyrates are foods that get broken down to make blood sugar. This is the fuel that we all need to function. Carbs are good for you and essential to eat. The problem is that most of us eat too many carbs and we gain weight.
People with diabetes are often asked to restrict the amount of carbs they eat, to help lower their blood sugar.
Are Carbs Bad?
No food is "good" or "bad", however when we want to reduce our calories and eat healthier, it's best to have more "complex" carbs, that is ones with more fiber and less simple sugars. Simply, whole grain rice is more complex than white rice. More fiber is better.
With the holidays over and New Years resolutions fading from memory, and the Valentines Candy boxes staring at you, it's a good time to think about reducing the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in our diets.
Read on for a list of foods that contain carbs.
Any food that contains starch, grains, and/or fiber:
- Beans - yes, green beans too
- Corn - this is not a vegetable
- Potatoes - bet you didn't know that
A serving is 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooked in a dry measuring cup, which is not much. Aim for no more than 9 servings each day.
Don't forget these:
- Sugar in our tea or coffee
How Fast Carbs Add Up Restaurant Scene
- You're out for lunch and order a sandwich and macaroni salad on the side, pick up a soda and you're on your way. Even if you chose whole wheat bread, this is about 5 servings of carbs.
- Dinner at a mexican restaurant: 2 handfuls of chips while you wait for the fajitas. Then 2 corn tortillas, with rice and beans: This is at least 6 servings of carbs.
Remember the portion/serving sizes are large in restaurants. Most of the time you're served a cup of rice and a cup of beans, so the average meal at a mexican restaurant can add up to 10 servings of carbs.
- Italian Restaurant: Bread or Focaccia to start, then a nice bowl of pasta. Since they usually serve at least 2 cups of pasta this adds up to 7 servings of carbs.
Remember, you're aiming for 9 servings or less each day. So substitute, substitute, substitute with vegetables and salads.
What You Can Do?
• If you feel hungry, then have more protein so that you feel fuller.
• Read the labels, avoid any food with > 25 grams/carb in a serving
• Eat more vegetables
• Look for carbs with more fiber.
For more information you can read more here.