Carbs Choose by the Company They Keep

Vegetables, fruits, legumes (dry beans), grain products, and milk: all these nutrient-rich foods supply carbohydrates! Get most of the "carbs" you need from these foods that also supply a host of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other phytonutrients. Refer to chapter 10 to learn how to fit these foods in. Go easy on energy-dense options, or those that deliver more calories (and added sugars) and fewer nutrients.

Starchy Foods: Healthful and Easy!

Plenty of starchy foods deliver great nutrition. Consider this to make the best choices.

  • Read labels. Choose starchy foods that deliver plenty of other nutrients.
  • Partner! Serve grain foods with other nutrient-rich foods: for example, brown rice with vegetable stir-fry, whole-wheat pita stuffed with a garden salad, or baked potato topped with chili beans.
  • Fit variety in: starchy vegetables (for example, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, beans), other veggies, and grain products, including whole grains. Follow the guidance of MyPyramid for amounts; see chapter 10.
  • Pick grain products with fewer fats and added sugars: for example, bagels in place of donuts, crackers without trans fats rather than chips, baked potatoes rather than fries.
  • Substitute whole-grain products for those made with refined flour, for more nutritional benefits from "carb-rich" foods! Make half your grain choices whole grain.
  • Be sensible about portions. It's easy to serve up 3 cups of pasta when half that amount may be plenty!

Sugars: In Healthful Eating

Naturally occurring or added, sugars are part ofhealth-ful eating. By adding taste, aroma, texture, color, and body to all kinds of foods, sugars make many foods more appealing.

That said, be mindful of the amount, especially of added sugars. The more foods with large amounts of added sugars consumed, the harder it is to get enough

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