Good–and Sweet!–Carbs that are also Good to Your Waist!

Samantha Mark, RD, CDN, our chief nutritionist, gets real sweet this week:

“I am never eating carbs again…”

“My sister lost so much weight when she cut out carbohydrates…”

“I only eat carbs once a day…”

Sound familiar? It seems like everyone has tried to avoid carbs at some point on their nutritional journey. Why? Because carbohydrates, unfortunately, have a nasty little reputation for causing us to gain weight.

True, but only partially! There are different types of carbohydrates, many of which are beneficial as part of a healthy diet.

For instance, our body needs sugar to function properly, so it makes no sense to deprive it. How do we satisfy our need for sweet and our waistline simultaneously? Simple: Embrace the better carbs–such as fruit–but observe portion control to avoid overconsumption.

Fruit is a wonderful addition to any diet and should be consumed frequently. According the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the USDA recommends the average person consume 2 ½ cups of fruit per day. The guidelines go on to mention the multiple benefits of adequate fruit consumption, such as a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart attack and stroke).

Fruit is a natural source of antioxidants and fiber, as well as countless vitamins and minerals (including vitamins A, C, K and potassium). The key to maximizing your nutrient intake is to vary your choices. Choose different color fruits and enjoy the wonderful flavors that each has to offer.

Be fiscally savvy, too! Dave money by buying fruit that is in season.

Lastly, I have to share my favorite thing about fruit: IT’S SWEET! I have a huge sweet tooth and personally, there is nothing better than the taste of naturally sweet fruit. If you have a craving, try a fresh cup of berries or a crunchy apple in place of that candy bar. The fiber can help to fill you up and the natural sugars may hit that spot.

Sammi’s favorite sweet dessert:

¾ chopped strawberries
1 fat free Greek yogurt
1 ½ tablespoons of honey
sprinkling of rolled oats or flax seeds or wheat germ

Combine ingredients and enjoy!

Our bodies need natural sugar to perform their best. By choosing carbohydrates that are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, you are getting the best of both worlds. Make today your sweetest day yet!

Until next time,

Sammi

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