Sep 12, 2013

Can carbs keep you disease free?

Many people are cutting down on carbs to keep their weight in check. A smart idea? That depends.

Most experts agree that carbs in the form of soda and sugary fruit drinks, store-bought baked goods (like muffins), packaged snacks, and sweets make blood sugar and blood fats (such as triglycerides) soar, raising your odds for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer.

Stock up instead on "smart carbohydrates” - whole grains like oatmeal, barley, whole grain bread, and brown rice, as well as fruits, vegetables, and beans and you'll flood your body with powerful disease-fighting compounds. These strategies can help you replace refined carbs with more of the good stuff.

Say yes to breads and cereals with the word whole in the first ingredient. Give potatoes the night off. White potatoes and white rice make blood sugar soar; in comparison, whole grain side dishes such as barley, quinoa, and bulgur keep it lower and steadier.

Have beans for supper a few nights a week. Rinse canned beans to reduce excess sodium. Then toss 'em into soups, salads, casseroles, or pasta sauce or enjoy them with your favorite seasonings as a side dish.

Drink unsweetened iced tea or water. Besides adding hundreds of waist-widening calories, soda (even one can a day!) has been linked with a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and overweight. (‘Simple Health Secrets’, by Reader’s Digest)