It’s National Nutrition Month and our TMC registered dietitians love the Savor the Flavor theme! Throughout the month Laurie and Mary are sharing tips to help you make healthier, tastier choices.

Are “carbs” bad?

Awwww… poor carbs. Carbohydrates (a.k.a. “carbs”) are not bad. They haven’t misbehaved or broken any rules, but they have gotten a bad rap because of the way food manufacturers and some of us consumers have abused them.

making good choices about carbsCarbohydrate is one of the macronutrients in food, along with protein and fat, that provide energy for our bodies. Foods that are high in carbohydrates include grains, fruits and vegetables. All of these foods can be included in a healthy diet, as long as you make smart choices within each food group. That means choosing minimally processed grains, fruits and vegetables.
For example:

* whole grains rather than white bread, pasta, rice (and especially cookies and pastries, etc.)
* whole fruit (whether fresh, frozen or dried) rather than juice or smoothies
* real vegetables rather than Veggie Stix, potato chips or any snack food with nice pictures of veggies on the front of the package but no actual veggies (or only vegetable powders) listed among the ingredients.

These good carbs provide more of the nutrients your body needs without the potentially harmful additives, such as extra fat and salt. By choosing foods that are less processed, you can also cut added sugar from your diet. Sugar is the real “bad guy” when it comes to carbohydrates, and we will cover that subject in more detail in our next post. You can also look forward to discussion of another source of carbohydrates – dairy products – in a future post.

One thing to keep in mind, even when eating good carbs, is to watch your portion sizes. Eating too much of these foods, or any food, will give you more calories than you need, causing you to gain weight. And we can’t blame the carbs for that.

If you’d like more information about crafting a healthy diet that meets your specific needs or a private consultation with our nutrition experts make a nutritional assessment appointment today.