Food Tip of the Week: The Right Way to Eat Carbs

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Carbohydrates are an integral part of nutrition. We know there are the “bad” simple carbs (i.e. white bread, white rice, very sweet fruit) and the “good” complex carbs (i.e. whole wheat bread, brown rice, low-sugar fruit). While it’s important to try to avoid the simple carbs, there are times when you just want a grilled panini for lunch, or some white rice with your Chinese food, or a handful or raisins and dried apricots…
and there’s no reason you shouldn’t indulge once in a while…

To make it a little easier on your pancreas (which releases insulin whenever we have a high sugar/carb meal), it helps if you add lean protein when you consume these types of carbs (or any carbs, for that matter). The protein will slow down digestion and prevent that “high-then-low” feeling you get after a high-carb meal so you will feel energized for a longer period of time (especially if you’re consuming complex carbs). Adding a healthy fat will also help slow down digestion.

The main reason we don’t want too many sugar spikes is because over time this can put a strain on our pancreas and eventually lead to type 2 diabetes. We are all susceptible to this awful disease it so we should all watch our sugar/carb intake, at least to some degree. Another way of preventing a sugar spike is by burning off the carbs through exercise, but that isn’t always feasible. Snacking on a couple of teaspoons of cottage cheese or tuna salad, a small handful of nuts or a little nut butter, string cheese, or other lean protein will do the job.

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