Carbs and your diet: the good, the bad, and the ugly
Don’t fear the “C” word
Let’s start off by saying that carbs are not something you need to be afraid of. Your body needs healthy carbohydrates to survive. However, the amount and quality of carbs you consume are extremely important. The same can also be said for fats and protein; quality and quantity matter. The biggest difference with carbs is that they’re much more common in the Standard American Diet and many, are also very high in sugar. This can be a recipe for a health disaster if you’re unaware of the difference between good and bad carbs. By recognizing which ones are great sources of nutrients and essential to your diet, you will be able to make better nutritional choices and support your Better Health Now program!
The good, the bad, and the ugly
Carbohydrates are defined as the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables, milk products, and even processed foods. Carbohydrates are one of three ways that your body obtains energy. However, as we mentioned before, they’re not all created equally when it comes to nutrient value. Too many simple carbs can be detrimental to your diet and health.
Simple carbs are ones that digest fast and can turn in to sugar in your body. While most people associate simple carbs with sweets, sodas, and breads, they can also come from fruits and vegetables that are high in naturally occurring sugars. Simple carbs tend to spike hunger or cause a sugar ‘rush’ in your body that can leave you feeling tired. Although some simple carbs are ok – when they come from fruits and vegetables – they become bad when they come from food sources high in sugars. They become ugly when they come from processed foods like cookies, cakes, and candy that are extremely high in refined sugar. This is when simple carbs get a bad rep.
Complex carbs, like those found in legumes, fruits and vegetables, digest slower and do not cause the same spike in blood sugar levels. They also have many nutritional benefits that are missing from simple carbs. Many complex carbs are a great source of fiber and some are also high in antioxidants for additional nutritional support.
Complex Carbs are:
- High in nutrients
- Devoid of refined sugars and refined grains
- High in naturally occurring fiber
- Low in sodium
- Low in saturated fat
- Very low in, or devoid of, cholesterol and Trans fats
Simple Carbs are:
- Full of refined sugars, like corn syrup, white sugar, honey and fruit juices
- High in refined grains like white flour
- Low in fiber
- Sometimes high in saturated fat
- Sometimes high in cholesterol and Trans fats
Looking for healthy carbs…
To help you think about healthy carbs, think ‘colorful’. If the food is primarily ‘beige’ like bread, pasta, rice, or fried potatoes – then you are eating foods that will likely spike your blood sugar and leave you eating more calories and feeling less full. If you eat the colors of the rainbow – blue/purple (blueberries, plums), green (lettuce, broccoli), white green (onions, garlic), yellow (citrus fruits, bell peppers, summer squash), red (apples, berries, radish, tomato), orange (oranges, butternut squash, sweet potato), yellow/green (celery, avocado) – you’ll be supplying your body with carbs that are lower in calories, contain more nutrition, and even more flavor.
This is one of the reasons our Rev 90 Program offers ‘high density low calorie’ as an option. These colorful foods fill you up but don’t fill you out like simple carbs. The Keto 90 Program has you eating very few carbs as it turns fat to energy in your body, and is a great program to help you get off sugar cravings and feel fuller, while the Wellness 90 Program is full of great ideas for eating more colors of fruits and vegetables. You can learn more about these three different programs and their diets at ygybetterhealth.com.
Here are a few recipes to help you see how fun it can be to eat colors using Youngevity products.
Plum Lemon shake – 242 calories
2 scoops TMR Vanilla Shake mix
1 cup cold water
1 medium plum, pitted, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
3-5 ice cubes
Blend & Enjoy
Chili Spice Scrambled Eggs with Tomato & Spinach – 64 calories
3 egg whites
1 cup Fresh Spinach Leaves
1 wedge of tomato (1.1 oz.) chopped
1/2 tsp. Saveur Chili Spice
In a medium frying pan, gently scramble eggs with the other ingredients until done or desired consistency.
Saveur Chili Mushrooms.
3 large flat mushrooms (Portobello)
3 tbsp. ground turkey
4 fresh asparagus spears
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. Saveur Chili Spice
1 cup mixed greens
Fresh lime juice
Remove stalks from mushrooms. Mix ground turkey with ½ tsp Saveur Chili Spice. Place mince in mushroom cups. Place on a baking tray and bake at 170 (340) for 10-12mins. While the mushrooms are cooking, mash avocado with remaining Chili Spice. Lightly steam asparagus spears. Remove mushrooms from oven, top with avocado. Serve with salad greens & asparagus and a twist of Saveur Himalayan Salt & Pepper.