November 3rd, 2008

One of the reasons I dislike dieting is that many diets try to get rid of carbohydrates, this is a huge mistake. There are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fiber. Sugar is the type of carbohydrate you should stay away from because it is a simple carbohydrate and is turned into glucose which is then turned into fat. Starch and fiber though are complex carbohydrate and are beneficial to your body. Carbohydrates are your body’s first form of energy, followed by fat and then protein. To lose fat you first have to burn off your carbohydrates, but complex carbohydrates blend with your fat meaning that you can burn off fat and carbohydrates at the same time.

Some good foods that contain complex carbohydrates and little sugar include pasta and bread, and really any food that has a lot of grain in it; grains contain starch and also some fiber. Beans are another good source of fiber and protein so I would recommend eating beans on a regular basis. Potatoes have come under scrutiny with some people who say that they contain too much starch but I personally love potatoes and do not think there are enough negative health effects to deter you from eating them. Fruits and vegetables are both great sources for carbohydrates and also include a plethora of other beneficial nutrients.

Fats are also a nutrient that is absolutely essential to your body and is not something that you can eliminate from your eating habits. Saturated fats are ones you want to stay away from but monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for you and also help reduce cholesterol. Fruits and vegetables are great sources for healthy fats as are cold water fish such as salmon, cod, and tuna. Nuts and seeds are also full of fats that will help your body.

So the next time you are shopping for food, do not immediately get rid of moderately high carbohydrate and fat containing foods. Look more closely at the labels; do most of the carbohydrates come from sugar, or do they come from fiber? Are there saturated fats in the food, or healthier, unsaturated fats? The key is to have a good balance, so do not take this article as a reason to go load up on carbohydrates and fats, you should still consume them in moderate quantities and make sure you are getting many other vital nutrients. Next time I will look at fruits and discuss the benefits and even disadvantages of the more common ones.

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