I am crazy about carbs. I have remained loyal even through the lean years, years of slander, libel and false accusations from the popular press and fad diet books. I have a wonderful relationship with my fruits, vegetables, lean dairy and whole grains. Let me tell you why: Energy. Carbohydrates provide the necessary energy for me to function. In fact, they are the only source of energy that my brain and nervous system can use.
Complex carbohydrates are full of fiber which improves blood sugar control and reduces my risk of heart disease by removing cholesterol from the body.
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Some of my very favorites:
1 slice whole wheat bread 80
2/3 cup whole wheat spaghetti 160
1 cup raspberries 60
1 large corn-on-the-cob 160
1/2 cup garbanzo beans 80
1/3 small cantaloupe 60
Vitamins and Minerals
Many of the vitamins and minerals found only in carb-containing foods help reduce blood pressure. Also, diets rich in fiber, fruit and vegetables are associated with lower rates of certain cancers and other diseases. The current recommendation is 7-9 fruits and vegetables and three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk every day.
I confess, I love the way carbohydrates look on my plate. All those lovely colors: brilliant blueberries on my cereal, rich tomato sauce on my noodles. And their beauty adds to my beauty, their water-soluble vitamins are wonderful for my skin.
Of course, like every good relationship, there must be boundaries. And, as much as I love carbohydrates, I must admit they would overtake the entire plate if I let them. Especially the pasta.
I’ve explained about my need for protein and for fat and that I can only commit to a few of them in their concentrated form, the form like table sugar that provides calories but very few nutrients.
And, for the most part, they understand. I think we can look forward to many more years together.
Laurie Ditton, RD, LD – Gritman Diabetics Care 208-883-6341