I’m always amazed at how many people avoid eating carbohydrates.  Carbs have received a bad rap because so many foods are loaded with the processed ingredients that I try to avoid.  The Atkins diet also turned a lot of people away from eating them.  Just so you know, carbohydrates are not that bad for you.  And in some cases, they’re beneficial!

 

Other Countries Eat Carbohydrates Without A Problem

I was fortunate enough to visit Italy a few years ago.  During my ten-day vacation, I only saw one person overweight and I didn’t see anyone obese.  Italians eat pasta every day.  Sometimes, they eat pasta for an entrée.  But many times, it will be a small serving BEFORE the main course.  On top of it, Italians eat gelato every day.  They enjoy it in the afternoon.  They eat it after dinner.  There would also be lines out the door late night after the bars closed.  I know that gelato has less calories and fat than ice cream, but it does have sugar. 

 

One of the staple foods in Asia is rice but I didn’t see many overweight people there either.  In France, it was also very common to see a baguette sticking out of people’s grocery bags while they walked home.

 

Consume Reasonably And Eat The Right Ones

What do all of these cultures have in common?  They don’t overeat.  Like I said in a previous post, you can enjoy carbs as long as you eat them in a reasonable amount.  Also, when you eat a carbohydrate, make sure they’re in their natural form.  This means eat grains that have texture like whole grains, oats and quinoa.  Also, don’t be scared to eat fruits.  If you avoid them, you’re depriving your body of essential nutrients like potassium, vitamin C and folic acid. They also have antioxidants, which are essential in fighting off age-causing factors free radicals.   Don’t be afraid to eat legumes because they’re loaded with fiber.  Besides cleansing your digestive system, fiber fills you up so you don’t overeat.  Fiber also absorbs water, which makes you fill up even faster.  Just so you know, not many proteins absorb liquids.  Good carbohydrates like oatmeal and beans have been proven to lower your weight and make your heart healthier since they lower bad cholesterol and provide good cholesterol.  Carbs also provide a slow release of energy throughout the day so you have fuel to keep you moving.

 

Yes, There Are Bad Carbs 

As much as I love donuts and pastries, I avoid eating them because they’re mostly filled with refined sugars and flour.  I only reach for the basket of table bread unless I’ve been exercising regularly.  I LOVE sweets, but I have no problem avoiding them when the favor is not enough of a reward for all the calories.  I’m not a big fan of cake, so I have no problem declining a piece of cake at birthday parties.  It’s not worth the guilt that I feel, or the energy crash that comes later.

 

If you haven’t eaten carbohydrates on a regular basis, reacquaint yourself.  Slowly start enjoying them and feel the benefits.  It’s important that your body receives a variety of food and carbohydrates will complement the rest of your diet.  Make them even more beneficial by taking a walk at some point of the day.  You’ll live a happier and healthier life if you do.

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