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Yes, You Can Eat Carbs!

I am so sad when I see people on diets that restrict their carb intake. Carbs are compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen - and they are VITAL for providing energy to our bodies and our brains. Without them, we'd be unconscious noodles!

Not all carbs are created equal; therefore not ALL of them should be avoided like the plague. There are 2 different kinds: simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates are the ones to ditch. These are mostly made up of refined sugars and very few essential vitamins and minerals. They metabolize quickly, giving us a sugar high and quickly dropping us into sugar meltdown. It isn't pretty. This rollercoaster blood sugar ride makes us feel even hungrier, so we tend to repeat the cycle. Foods like soda, diet soda, candy, foods made with white sugar, and breads and pasta with white flour - should really be consumed in moderation, and YES moderation is my new favorite word.

On the other hand, complex carbs are made up of starch and fiber, so they release gradually and provide our happy bodies with a steady source of energy. Foods like beans, veggies such as potatoes and sweet potato, and whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat, and barley are complex carbs. When you eat them, they make you feel full and satisfied for longer, so you eat less.

What about fruit? To find out,

Fruits contain naturally occurring simple sugars and many of them contain a great deal of fiber that slows down digestion - thus limiting the sugar energy from immediately flooding our bodies. So go ahead and eat that fruit - your body will be psyched with all those enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting tannins and flavonoids. Another thing, fruit is mostly made up of water, so it hydrates your body and aids in the cleansing, detoxifying, and elimination process.

Fit's Tips: Read labels and look for foods containing whole wheat flour. Enriched flour is a fancy word for the process of stripping all the healthy stuff (nutrients, vitamins, and minerals) out of the whole grains to make them lighter in color and smoother in texture (companies thought lighter, smoother products would sell better). They then add some of the nutrients back (hence the word "enriched" or "fortified"), but our bodies can't absorb them as easily, and they make us feel crappy.

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You can order all 3 designs - i love carbs, i eat carbs, or carb queen - from Alternative Outfitters for $22.

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