Carbohydrates have developed a bad reputation over the past few years. While many simple carbs deserve this bad rap for their huge calorie count and nutrient-depleting sugars, all carbs are not created equal.
Simple, highly-processed carbohydrates like white flour, rice, and pasta work against the body, increasing cholesterol, inflammation, and body weight. On the other hand, whole, unprocessed carbohydrates like oats, quinoa, fruit, and beans nourish and support the body, helping it to function at peak efficiency. There are many foods which contain carbs that can help the body protect itself against increasingly common diseases like diabetes and arthritis.
Carbs lower cholesterol
- Eating whole-grain carbohydrates can lower LDL, which is known as the bad cholesterol. Lower cholesterol helps the body metabolize insulin properly, reducing the strain on the pancreas and lowering the need for supplemental insulin in the future.
- High cholesterol is also a key indicator for heart disease, along with diabetes and arthritis. Reducing cholesterol will reduce your overall risk of heart disease, which is the number one killer in the world.
- Choose high-fibre carbs like oats, sweet potatoes, and apples to help your body pick up excess cholesterol through the digestive system and eliminate it quickly and easily.
Carbs reduce inflammation
- Consuming carbohydrates in their natural form can help reduce inflammation and pain. Arthritis causes inflammation in the body, and carbs like berries, beans, and legumes all have anti-inflammatory properties that will help your body fight off those reactions.
- Eating a variety of colourful fruits, vegetables, and grains will ensure that your body is getting a wide selection of anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals.
Carbs lower body weight
- A healthy body weight is the best defence against both diabetes and arthritis. When your body is at its idea weight all of your systems can function normally. Blood sugar is easily regulated, without the need for medications or daily testing. Pain and inflammation is rare, and does not get a chance to build up in a healthy body.
- When planning your meals choose a wide variety of carbohydrates, including some you may have never heard of, like amaranth, teff, or wheatberries. A broad selection will give your body a better chance of getting all the nutrients it needs.
The best offence is a good defence, especially for your health. If you start making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle now, you will be better prepared to avoid diabetes and arthritis as you get older. Your chances of getting either disease will be greatly reduced, and you will live a longer, healthier life because of it.