Carbohydrates provide our main source of energy from which we get an immediate release and replace energy stores when they have been used up. Our bodies break down the food into glucose which is then used for energy.
Food examples of carbohydrates
Vegetables and legumes - Parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, corn. Black, lima and pinto beans (these beans are also packed with protein), red, yellow and black lentils, black eye and split peas, kidney beans, soybeans, english, garden, snow and sugar snap peas.
Whole grains - whole wheat bread, brown rice/pasta, quinoa, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole wheat cereal, muesli. There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple/refined carbohydrates-sugars, and complex carbohydrates-starches.
Choose a complex carbohydrate snack or treat such as popcorn or oatmeal cookies.
Complex carbohydrates (starchy foods) should make up 50-60% of our energy intake and whilst sugary carbohydrates are essential, they should not be eaten in great portions with other sugary products.
Wholegrain foods are naturally much higher in fibre and have many vitamins than their 'white' counterparts - easier to digest. They also have numerous health benefits such as reducing blood pressure, reducing heart disease, aiding in weight management and maintain the immune system to name a few.
White varieties (white bread, white pasta, crackers) are made from flours and cereal grains which have the outer part of the grain removed.
Simple/Refined (sugars, including fructose-fruit)
Processed/refined foods - white bread, white pasta and rice, packaged cereals, crisps, crackers, chips, baked cakes and cookies, pizza, sweet sauces and salad dressings, fizzy drinks, sugar.
Fructose (Fruit) - Grapefruit, strawberries, peaches, raspberries, lemon, kiwi, lychee, plums, melon, blackberry, cranberry, cherry, blueberry, blackcurrant, banana, apples, oranges.
Although simple carbohydrates provide us with energy, they lack the essential nutrients our bodies need and can't produce themselves.
Fructose is in the same category as sugar, but it hasn't been processed and so still contains natural vitamins and minerals. It is low in the glycemic index and so has a minimal impact on your blood sugar levels. Fruit contains a small amount of fructose which means your body is only getting a small amount of sugar.
Its the processed forms of fructose which is found in many processed foods, fizzy pops, baked and canned goods that we need to cut out and reduce levels of toxins being absorbed.