Carbohydrates are a controversial macronutrient in health and fitness circles. Many people see them as a nutrient that contributes to chronic diseases such as diabetes and something that should be avoided at all costs. While it’s true that you can technically survive without carbohydrates (your body can use fats and protein for energy if there are no carbohydrates available) and eating too many or eating the wrong kind can be very damaging to your health, when you eat the right kind of carbohydrates, in the right quantities, they can boost your health in numerous ways. That’s why today I’m going to be helping you make sure that healthy carbohydrates are part of your diet this New Year and providing with 5 Ways To Eat Healthy Carbohydrates In The New Year.
1) Avoid Processed Foods
As I mentioned above, eating the wrong kind of carbohydrates can be very damaging to your health. Processed foods are one of the worst types of carbohydrates around. Not only do they usually contain lots of calories and harmful ingredients such as trans fats but they’re also lacking in essential nutrients, so provide you with very few health benefits. In addition to this, most processed foods are loaded with sugar which gives them a high glycemic index and causes your energy levels to become very unstable.
There are many different kinds of processed foods out there, so knowing exactly which foods you need to avoid this New Year can be tough. However, as a general rule, if it’s not a food in its natural form (such as fresh fruit or fresh meat), it’s processed and you need to cut down your consumption. While this may sound like you have to give up lot of your favourite foods, this really isn’t the case. There are plenty of healthy recipes out there that you can use to re-create your favourite foods, maintain the same great taste and get rid of all the harmful ingredients.
2) Add Vegetables To All Your Main Meals
Unlike processed foods, vegetables are one of the best quality carbohydrates you can find. They’re loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which have countless health benefits and ensure that your body functions optimally. In addition to this, they’re much lower in calories than processed foods and have a low glycemic index which means your energy levels stay stable when you eat them.
Adding vegetables to all your main meals this New Year may sound like a big task if you’re not used to eating them. However, there are so many different kinds of vegetables out there and the vast majority are incredibly versatile, so incorporating them into your meals really isn’t difficult. For example, omelettes are a perfect breakfast choice and work well with all kinds of vegetables. Carrots, lettuce, spinach and tomatoes can all be eaten raw with no preparation, making them a perfect addition to any lunch. Bell peppers, mushrooms and onions taste great when fried with a little extra virgin olive oil and go with almost any meat.
3) Snack On Fruits
Fruits are another top quality carbohydrate and a perfect alternative to processed snacks such as chocolate or crisps. Like vegetables, they’re packed full of multiple health boosting essential nutrients and while they do contain some natural sugars, they’re still a much more stable source of energy than processed snacks. The best part is that most fruits are portable and can be eaten as they are which means you can carry them with you and snack on them whenever and wherever you like.
When it comes to choosing fruits, there are plenty of options and you’re bound to find some that match your taste. For example, if you want something that’s slightly sweet and filling, a banana’s a fantastic choice. If you’re looking for a fruit with a tangy taste, oranges will give you exactly that. If you’re after something that’s sweet and juicy, try blueberries.
4) Cut Down On Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks are another carbohydrate source that can be very bad for you and one that you should try to avoid this New Year. Most sugary drinks contain nothing but sugar and harmful chemicals and provide you with lots of calories but no nutritional value.
Cutting down on sugary drinks can be difficult if you’re used to drinking them on a regular basis. However, by slowly lowering your consumption and drinking water, tea or coffee instead, you’ll cut a lot of low quality carbohydrates out of your diet, feel more hydrated and boost your energy levels.
5) Cut The Carbohydrates In Your Alcohol
Like sugary drinks, alcoholic drinks are a source of liquid carbohydrates that you should be cutting back on this New Year. Not only does the alcohol itself contain a significant 9 calories per gram but most beers, ciders and cocktails also contain large amounts of low quality carbohydrates. In addition to this, alcoholic drinks contain empty calories and give you no nutritional benefit. Plus, when consumed in large quantities, alcohol can be very dangerous and has been linked with numerous health problems.
To cut the carbohydrates in your alcohol, you first need to moderate your consumption. If you’re drinking on a daily basis or regularly drinking more than two alcoholic drinks in a single day, you’re going to be consuming lots of liquid carbohydrates and putting your health at risk, regardless of which alcoholic drink you choose.
Once you’ve got your alcohol consumption under control, you can then further reduce the carbohydrates in your alcoholic drinks by looking for low calorie options. Straight spirits such as whiskey and vodka are the best choice and contain no additional carbohydrates. However, if you’re not a fan of straight spirits, there are plenty of low calorie beers and ciders available or you can make your own low calorie cocktails.
As you can see, just a few small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference to the quality and quantity of the carbohydrates you consume this New Year. By following these five steps you can ensure that only the healthiest carbohydrates are part of your diet, fill up on lots of fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, enjoy all the related health benefits and cut the calories in the carbohydrates you consume. So, if you’re currently eating lots of processed foods or vegetables aren’t part of your diet, start making some changes today and ensure that you fill up on healthy carbohydrates this New Year.
Now I want to hear from you guys. Do you usually struggle to eat the right kind of carbohydrates? Are there any additional tips you have for eating more healthy carbohydrates this New Year? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, please Like, +1, Pin and Tweet this post, so that as many people as possible can improve the quality of their carbohydrate consumption this New Year.