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The dreaded carbohydrate is receiving a pretty bad rap in the diet industry today. Why is this? Could it possibly be because more than 80% of most Americans diets consist of greasy, processed/refined carbs? Put simply, carbohydrates are NOT bad. They are an essential nutrient that is required for fuel and function; that is why its called an “essential nutrient”. Choosing good carbohydrates can be difficult for some, which is why I’m going to lay out a few rules and ideas for you to follow so you can implement them into your diet accordingly.

How do you decide if what your about to eat is a good or bad carb? Thats easy, just ask yourself a few questions. Does it fall under a sugar, starch, or fiber, have allot of calories, have a low glycemic index, a low glycemic load, have a high thermic effect, is it a complex or simple carb? You will inevitably respond to most of these questions with “I have no freakin idea what any of that even means.”. And for the layman there isn’t really a need to know what all of it means. But unless your going to memorize lists of foods that are “good” for you, you had best set some simple guidelines to abide by.

  • Choose whole grains, raw fruits, vegetables, and other unrefined/intact carbs.
  • Avoid processed/man made, greasy, sugary, and starchy foods.
  • Try to consume around 25 grams of fiber per day (soluble and/or insoluble) from your whole carbs.
  • Try to implement more complex carb/protein combinations: legumes, beans, nuts and seeds into your diet.
  • The phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in carbohydrates are important for a balanced and healthy diet. Some predominately high carb foods also contain protein and good fats as well. Which is helpful to create a well balanced eating regimen.

In short, there is no need to fear carbohydrates, but rather recognize the need for moderation and balance in all things. By using these guidelines you will be able to accomplish just that. Read the nutritional facts and educate yourself on what works well with your body and lifestyle.

Cathleen has a strong background in athletics in general, most of her life has been devoted to martial art and combat training. Her love for high impact/dangerous sports has provided her with the forced pleasure of learning the anatomy and physiology of the human body and about the human condition in conflict. Which later drove Cathleen to spend over a decade working parallel in the medical and fitness industry prior to dedicating all her avocational time to her career as a Health and Wellness Consultant.

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