Carbohydrates are a real controversial issue when it comes to weight loss. Some diet gurus promote diets that are high in carbohydrates, while others caution dieters that they should avoid them if they want to lose weight.
Weight loss studies have shown dieters have loss weight on both high-carb and low-carb diets. With all the conflicting information, what is the real role carbs play as the best ways to burn belly fat?
The great thing is that carbohydrates are not an all or nothing proposition. It is a matter of choosing the right ones and managing portion control as ways to lose body fat.
Carbohydrates That Are OK To Eat:
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are some of the most healthiest foods for us to eat every day. They are nutrient-dense and contain a significant amount of fiber and water.
In fact, the USDA as part of MyPlate recommends 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables each day. The Center for Disease Control also reports that a diet that includes fruits and vegetables may help prevent diabetes, cancer, and other diseases.
With all this information it makes since to incorporate a variety of colorful vegetables into the diet solution. If you are worried about eating too much natural fruit sugar (fructose) then you should stick to low-glycemic fruits such as berries, cherries, apricots, grapefruit, and apples.
To keep away from blood sugar peaks and valleys you want to switch from refined bread products to whole grains. With whole grains your body will work longer and harder to digest the whole grain foods and convert them into energy. As a result, you avoid the quick peaks and crashes you get from refined carbohydrates in refined bread products.
High-fiber whole grains also works to help satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time and helps you avoid between-meal cravings. A good healthy breakfast should consist of a cup of whole-grain oatmeal sprinkled with flax seeds for added fiber.
Beans and Nuts
Most of us do not eat enough fiber in our diet. The American Dietetic Association recommends 25-35 grams of fiber daily. The American Heart Association estimates that Americans only eats 15 grams of fiber per day.
This is not good, because health benefits of fiber are many. For example fiber is needed to helps regulate bowel movements, prevents blood sugar highs and lows, and keeps your digestive system working well.
You can increase fiber intake by adding some beans to your diet. Another good way is nuts. The protein in these foods helps to control your hunger and the fiber promotes efficient digestion.
A half-cup of beans with your meal and a handful of nuts for a snack between meals is a great way to start.
Dairy products are a great source of calcium and Vitamin D that supports healthy bones. Unfortunately, these same dairy product can also contain a lot of fat and lactose (milk sugar). Switching to 2% cheese and 1% milk will help control your fat intake. Other tasty dairy choices include low-fat yogurts and string cheese snacks as part of the easy weight loss plan.
If lactose upsets your stomach look for lactose-free dairy products instead. They will contain all the calcium and vitamin D but it comes with less of the sugar.
Here Are Carbohydrates To Avoid:
Why is sugar so bad anyway? It is because sugar contains empty calories, but in moderation sugar is not so terrible.
Sadly, our diets do not approach sugar in moderation. Most processed foods in boxes and bags are full of added sugar. And those sugary drinks are consumed way to much.
A lot of foods that do not taste sweet may still contain sugar as a flavor enhancer. Sugar is also added to improve the flavor of many of those so called low-fat foods. With all the sugar in our diets, it should be clear why so many dieters suffer from unstable glucose levels and the constant cravings for carbs.
The best advice is do the best you can when it comes to avoiding sugar. Try to cut back on sweet treats and practice portion control. Artificial sweeteners are not what seem, as these have been proven to increase sugar cravings in some individuals leading to over weight.
Watch out for hidden sugar in processed foods. You will find on the ingredient list, sugar masquerading as fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohol, sucrose, dextrose, and lactose.
This may comes as a surprise but fruit juices are high in sugar content and calories, but low in fiber. It’s much healthier for you to eat the fruit than to drink it as juice. Another problem is that many juices report on the label that they are made from “fruit juice concentrate” which is another way of saying the manufacture added sugar.
After you exercise you want to rehydrate with a bottle of water and a piece of fruit. This will provide your muscles the quick energy they need for recovering with fiber as a bonus.
Just like sugar, simple carbohydrates like white flour are processed quickly by the body which leads to rapid rises and falls in your energy level. The worse part is that highly refined flour products have very little fiber content and vitamins your body needs.
On the positive side you can add fiber and nutrition to your diet by using whole-grain counterparts for white bread, rice, and pasta.
Another goodie is eating yams with the skins instead of the starchy baking potatoes. You will discover these healthier choices will leave you more satisfied and less likely wanting to eat past the point of satiation.
Unlike solid food, alcohol is absorbed quickly by the body, it pass through the liver, and winds up the bloodstream. Spikes in blood glucose along with the corresponding crashes are very common when consumed alcohol.
In addition, alcohol is full of calories that has zero benefits for your body. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol also hinder the body from absorbing nutrients, and can leave your body dehydrated.
If you must drink alcohol at a special event do not consume sugary mixed drinks and wine coolers. Instead opt for a diet-friendly white wine spritzer, a lite beer, or a shot of rum mixed in a Diet Coke.
Pharmacist Sherry Torkos defines what carbohydrates
are and the differences between good and bad carbs.