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  • Writer's pictureTea Writes

GRAINS (Carbs) Are Not Created Equal

Making the healthiest choices when selecting grains, which are a form of carbohydrates aka "carbs"---an energy source that fuels our brain and our body

Carbs are a necessary energy source for our bodies. When broken down once consumed, carbs create a form of blood sugar called glucose.

Carbs are divided into two groups: simple and complex.

Added sugars (simple carbs) can be found in foods that lack nutrients (empty calories), and naturally-occurring sugars in the form of fruits and milk, which are nutrient-based:

  • Soda pop

  • Breakfast cereals

  • Baked goods

  • Frozen deserts

  • Candies and other sweets

  • White sugar

  • Brown sugar

  • Honey

  • Molasses

  • Corn syrup (high fructose)

  • Concentrated fruit juice sweetener

Simple carbs can be broken-down quickly and easily digested. They provide a burst of energy, then the body "crashes" and becomes fatigued, with the exception of naturally-occurring sugars.

Naturally-occurring sugars can be found in foods nutrient-based foods:

  • Fruit sugar in the form of fructose

  • Milk sugar called lactose

Fructose and lactose---these forms of simple sugars are harder to digest, which is called malabsorption aka fructose- and lactose-intolerance, respectively.

Complex Carbs or (starchy carbs), which can be found in foods with very low fiber---foods that have been processed or refined.

  • White rice

  • White pasta

  • Instant and French-fried potatoes

  • "Enriched wheat flour," generally breads and cereals

There are also whole foods, or foods with high-fiber content, which are healthier.

  • Beans

  • Peas

  • Whole fresh vegetables

  • Whole fresh fruits

  • Brown and wild rice

  • Whole wheat pasta

  • "Whole" wheat or whole grain breads and cereals

Complex carbs provide fiber and water. They will fill you up without adding more calories.

Here's a few ways to increase consumption of these healthy carbs and nutrients in your meals"

  • Eat legumes, which are beans, lentils, and drive peas

  • Eat whole grain rice, breads, and cereals

  • Eat veggies and fruits

When selecting carbs for meal-planning, select complex carbs. Avoid simple carbs, which are white flours, breads, and rice. They have been processed (refined)---all nutrients and fiber have been stripped away---they will also pack on the pounds.

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