WHY DO CARBS HAVE A BAD REPUTATION?
At 4 calories per gram, carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Highly active individuals such as athletes and construction workers burn more calories per day, hence the fact that they needs greater quantities of carbs. The best source of energy-dense carbohydrates are found in vegetables and fruits. Other, less ideal, sources can be found in starchy foods like potatoes and grains.
VEGGIES – MOST NUTRIENT DENSE FOOD
Plant-based nutrition, especially green vegetables, are calorie for calorie the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, so people who have vast nutrient deficiencies will benefit greatly from increasing their intake of vegetables. Veggies are an especially excellent source of carbohydrates for people trying to lose fat because they are packed with dietary fibers that are critical to metabolic activity. They also increase gastrointestinal (GI) health by feeding the food bacteria, which increases your metabolism and controls hunger by filling your stomach up both physically and mentally. Dietary fibers pass through the GI tract to assist in the removal of waste by attaching to toxins and excreting them out of the body, which helps reduce the risk of multiple chronic diseases.
“Going Green,” whether it’s by land or sea, is the #1 choice you can make for your body. No, we don’t mean recycling and planting trees, but more like eating plant-based nutrition. Green plant-based foods have the highest nutrient density compared to any other. Furthermore, it also has the most amount of chlorophyll, a pigment that allows our red blood cells to function more efficiently!
RAW VS. COOKED
Believe it or not, it makes a difference when you are choosing to eat vegetables raw vs. cooked. For example, when you cook your favorite foods on the grill, bake them in the oven or microwave them, you are depleting many of the food’s natural vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. The heat (specifically anything above 115°F) essentially destroys the enzymes, which are proteins that accelerate metabolic reactions in the body. So by eating your veggies raw, you are preserving so many of these good enzymes for your body to use. Major healing centers like the Hippocrates Health Institute have been using raw vegetables to increase the amount of enzymes in the body, which helps reverse or even cure diseases.
*WARNING: We are talking plant-based nutrition here, some other types of food like meats may not be safe to ingest raw.
You don’t have to eat all of your veggies raw, but putting more into your body will bring you tremendous health benefits, especially considering there are well over 3,000 enzymes that are needed in order for your metabolism, digestive tract and immune system to properly function.
The easiest way to “sneak” raw vegetables into your diet is through a smoothie or large salad. If you have GI issues like I.B.S., juice the vegetables, but remember that you are stripping the fiber from the foods when you do this. Additionally, eating some raw fruit, nuts and seeds will provide your body with smaller amounts of enzymes.
Big-time marketers have unfortunately got people believing that eating grain is essential for its fiber and nutrients, but that is NOT the case. The reason is because of the “three headed monster,” being lectins, gluten and phytates. There are very high amounts of all three of these in grains like rye, spelt and wheat. Lectin is a natural anti-nutrient for humans because they bind to the human intestinal lining to cause inflammation and a lower metabolism. Gluten, found in most processed foods, elevates the body’s blood-sugar level quickly. Phytates attach to minerals in the body and make them unavailable for absorption. If you must ingest any type of grain, non-gluten grains like brown rice and quinoa are better choices.
THIS IS WHY CARBS GET A BAD NAME
Which carbohydrate sources are the worst? You guessed it, processed foods and carbs that absorb quickly into the body. Refined carbs like white rice, white potatoes, bread and pasta are the main food culprits. What many don’t understand is that liquid calories such as sports drinks, juices, soda, alcohol and flavored coffee are even worse because they spike blood sugar and lower metabolism by causing insulin resistance. These simple carbs are the reason why carbohydrates have gotten such a bad rap in past years.
The truth behind carbs is that they have a special place in your diet as long as you choose the RIGHT ones. This WILL be the difference between seeing temporary versus permanent results in the long-run.