If you are like me you have a love hate relationship with carbs. Somehow we struggle when having to turn them away. But it doesn’t have to be that hard of a breakup! Carbohydrates are an important part of our daily eating plans, but here is the trick portions!
Carbs are a main type of nutrients that our body rely’s on for energy…if you were ever an athlete you know how important those night-before-the-big-game pasta dinners were so you had enough energy to make it through the next day energy pinching game vs. the biggest rival. We have all been there and done that! But as we get older our bodies seem to become addicted to the deliciousness of the ever so unforgiving carbohydrates.
Every wonder where your cravings are coming from? Or why carbs are addictive? Here’s your answer…your body changes carbs into glucose (blood sugar) in our bodies, if our blood sugar is low and not maintained at the proper number, it leads to the brain stimulating and sending the “hungry for carb message” to the rest of the body. Also when blood sugar levels are low the body needs a quick source of energy…hence the pound of pasta we’ve all been guilty of eating in front of the tv on a night we don’t feel like preparing the health nut meal, piled high with the best pasta sauce and shredded cheese on top. Another possibility for your cravings is low serotonin levels. Low serotonin level triggers the stimulants in the body to crave carbs. So how do we deal with this love hate relationship with the carbs we all struggle not to eat but need to eat for balanced blood sugar and serotonin levels in our body…one simple solution.. portion control!
When it comes to eating the right amount of carbs in our diets follow this simple calculation:
1/2 Non-Starchy Veggies: such as spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, beets and peppers.
1/4 Grains & Starchy Veggies: whole grains, sweet potatoes, winter squash, rye bread, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, pinto beans, potatoes, and green peas.
1/4 Protein: chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, lean beef, pork loin, tofu, eggs, low-fat cheese, nuts, lentils, and yogurt.
No matter what don’t break up with carbs…sometimes we love them sometimes we hate them but we will forever need them!