Macronutrient #2: Carbohydrates.
After all the media hype, are you surprised to hear carbs are essential? Read on….
Carbs are a source of energy, the main source of blood glucose and a major fuel for all of the body’s cells. Carbs are essential to fighting infection, maintaining health and growth of bones, skin, nails, cartilage and tendons, and important in normal metabolism of fats. Carbs are our source of dietary fiber, of great value in helping balance blood sugar, necessary to regulate gastrointestinal transit time and facilitate efficient elimination. (Eat Away Illness p.67)
The trick is to learn to use whole, nutrient dense carbs, no small feat considering the thousands of refined, processed, and ready to eat products out there just waiting to make our life easier, and our symptoms worse!
55 to 150 grams of carbs is the recommended daily intake and the minimum required per day is 35 grams. A guideline for one serving is equal to one small slice of bread or one half cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta. Important to remember is that the recommended daily allowance of fiber is 25 to 30 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Reading the nutrition label on products gives you the total carbs, but does NOT give you the value in terms of nutrient dense whole food versus junk food.
Check out this awesome cereal made with whole grains, nuts and seeds. As you will see, this product ensures intake of all of the amino acids as well will the addition of eggs. (remember last week’s post on the importance of Macronutrient Protein.) Recipe below.
Simple carbohydrates are simple sugars, for example fructose, sucrose, lactose, honey and molasses. Fruits and berries are composed of mainly simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber and starch and are found in veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, peas, and legumes. Refined carbohydrates are usually complex carbohydrates that have had much of their nutrition removed and often have undesirable ingredients added, for example most flours, baked goods, desserts and snacks. (Eat Away Illness p. 67)
Learning to purchase, store and cook with ingredients in their primary state is easy, and well worth the effort which results in a tremendous opportunity for your body to heal. My healing manual Eat Away Illness has lists, charts, recipes, and ideas on getting healthy carbs and fiber into your dietary program. See http://www.healingwithnutrition.ca to order or download.
Liz’s Breakfast Cereal
This cereal will keep in the fridge for several days.
1/3 cup quinoa
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
cinnamon to taste
optional: pieces of dried fruit
1 1/3 cup almond milk or milk of choice
2 scrambled eggs
1. Stir together first six ingredients.
2. Then add milk and eggs.
3. Cook in rice cooker or on top of stove until quinoa is fluffy.
Serve with blueberries and coconut milk.
Optional: maple syrup, yogurt if diet allows dairy.
Thanks to Liz for this great breakfast!