First of all, I have to tell you that I have been positively overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have received regarding my antics encouraging us to eat more whole grains. In fact, as we continue our Eat Bread, Raise Dough challenge through the month of December, I am considering it my mission to raise awareness about the benefits of including more whole grains in your diet and am hoping to dispel many of the myths associated with carbs. So here goes...
Myth #1: Carbs are bad. NO NO NO NO NO...Let me make this point very clear...there are GOOD carbs and BAD carbs...and they are at the 2 opposite ends of the spectrum of healthy eating. GOOD carbs like whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables should be 50-60% of your diet. They are loaded with nutrients, they have a myriad of health benefits and they fill us up. BAD carbs like white bread, white rice, white pastas, and sugary laden desserts are considered empty calories. They are void of fiber, impart no health benefits, and have no nutritive value...kind of like eating cardboard! They also wreak havoc on our blood sugar causing it to spike and drop which not only zaps us of energy BUT also puts more of what we eat into our fat stores!!
Myth #2: It's easy to overeat carbs. The truth here is both yes and no. Most individuals struggling with portion control are overeating carbs but, once again, it's the bad carbs. When we make a conscious effort to switch from the white bread to the whole wheat bread, the fiber actually expands in our stomach 8 fold...little receptors in the lining of our stomachs send a message to our brains saying, “I'm FULL.” And, while our conscious brain can override this message, it significantly decreases the likelihood that we will overeat. In general, the sooner you feel full, the sooner you stop eating. In fact individuals who eat the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber per day consume on an average 25% fewer calories than the average American who only consumes ½ that amount.
So here's your challenge:
Simply start to replace your “bad” carbs with “good” carbs. Choose brown rice instead of white rice. Pick up a loaf of great harvest bread from the front desk on Saturday mornings and use it for your breakfast toast and/or your afternoon sandwich. Seek out pizza places with whole grain crusts (Buddy's, Bennitos, Epic, Picassos). Ladle your spaghetti sauce over whole wheat pasta instead of white. Purchase crackers like Triscuits that have at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving instead of gluten free crackers which are often void of fiber.
Perhaps consider adding up your fiber intake for one day. Dietary fiber is listed on the side of your breads, cereals, crackers & pastas and as a rule of thumb a small piece of fruit or a ½ cup of vegetables have approximately 3 g of fiber per serving. (Dairy, eggs, meat, fish are not sources of fiber so you don't have to worry about tallying fiber for these food groups.) See where you are at compared to the average American who eats 12 grams of fiber a day and then vow to be anything but average as you begin to add in more fiber to your diet by including more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The American Dietetic recommendation is 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
I thank you in advance for allowing me to share this information with you and hope that you will, in turn, share what you have learned with others. I am on a mission to spread the truth about carbohydrates...to educate those around me about their health benefits as well as the fact that you truly can...EAT BREAD to LOSE WEIGHT!!!