Confused About Carbs?

    

     I am not a fad follower. I am much less likely to try an approach that is trendy, popular, and new. I like proven, tried, and true. As such, when it came to losing weight I have stuck to the science I know and understand. I count calories even though it’s no longer the popular method.

     Low carb diets are all the rage for weight loss, but now they are also being recommended by the medical community to help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. After having had 3 different doctors recommend this approach for three different reasons – to lose weight, to reverse insulin resistance, and to lower cholesterol I decided it was time to begin to educate myself about the role of carbohydrates in a healthy diet. After all, carbs are the foundation of the average american diet. Even foods that are healthy and necessary for proper nutrition like fruits and vegetables are full of carbs.  “Carb” seems to have become a bit of a  four letter word in our current society, but not all carbs are bad. In fact a diet that contains too few of the proper carbohydrates is dangerous. So how do you know which carbs to eat and which to stay away from?

      When it comes down to it the answer to that question isn’t simple. The subject of carbohydrates is complex. There are simple carbs, and complex carbs. Then there’s the glycemic index, then glycemic load. Which carbs are “good carbs” and which carbs are “bad carbs”?

     When my current doctor recommended a low carb lifestyle I asked about education. He recommended reading “The South Beach Diet”. He was the second doctor to do so. As I have begun reading this book I have been pleasantly surprised at how informative it is. It was written by the heart doctor who designed the diet and it has given me real reasons to believe in a “good carb” and “good fat” approach to life for overall better health. I do recommend reading it even if you aren’t planning a low carb approach to weight loss. Understanding the foods that go into our bodies and making healthy choices is our responsibility. We have been blessed with these bodies and they deserve proper care. We have people who cherish us and we own them that consideration.

     If you are looking for a brief but rather meaningful and reader friendly explanation about carbs I recommend reading “Good Carbs Guide The Way” from the Harvard School of Public Health. This is the best basic explanation I have been able to find about what carbohydrates are and what makes a good  or bad choice. I was excited to finally see a clear explanation online. I hope you will take the time to read and consider what role “good carbs” should play in your lifestyle. After reading it you might just find yourself wanting to take the next step and pick up a copy of “The South Beach Diet”. Losing weight is only the first step. Reach further and begin making choices that will help you live a longer and healthier life.

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