By Lauren Denos: 8/7/2015 (Ask Lauren)

Dear Lauren,

I hear a lot of conflicting information about carbs. Are they good for me and what ones are the best?

Thank you,

Lynda

Dear Lynda,

Our bodies do need carbohydrates, whether it is the form of green leafy vegetables, grains or starches like potatoes. Usually when you hear of someone on a low carb diet they are still eating carbs but they are eating them in the form of tons of non starchy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, broccoli etc. But the amount of carbs that work with your body is really a personal thing. I don't believe there can be a blanket statement that carbs are good or bad or exactly how many you need. I know people who feel best on a high carbohydrate diet and others that feel horrible on one. Go with what feels right for you.

As far as healthiest carbs. This also depends on what works with your body. Some people have issues with night shade plants which are potatoes, peppers, egg plant and tomatoes. Other people have issues with grains and or pseudo grains. If you have no specific food sensitivities then some good ones to include are:

  • Non starchy vegetables – such as spinach, broccoli, etc. Granted these will not give you the same big carb hit that they rest of the foods listed will. But regardless it is still good to keep the non starchy veggies in your meals.
  • Whole grains - and I do mean whole, not bread or pasta, but steel cut oats, or wheat berries, or whole grain brown rice.

  • Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Yams

  • Squash - both winter and summer variety

  • Legumes - such as kidney beans, northern beans, lentils etc.

Just always remember to eat your foods as close to their natural state you can. An apple can be healthy and apple pie is not what you would find in nature.


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