The Carbohydrate Balancing Act

by Dara LoBuono, Registered Dietitian

Carbohydrate phobia is a long-lasting trend that won’t seem to go away. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Processed, refined carbohydrates and simple sugars are readily available to be used for energy and cause irregularity in blood sugars. This includes white flour, breads, pastas, and crackers, oversized bagels and carbs from candy and treats.

Instead, we should be focusing on consuming carbohydrates high in fiber and less processed. These types of carbohydrates take longer to metabolize and utilize as energy. Sources include whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates are our main source of fuel for our muscles and brain. Without them our concentration will dwindle.

To sustain energy and focus throughout the day spread your carbohydrate intake evenly throughout the day, in small frequent amounts. Pair carbohydrates with healthy fats and protein, such as avocado, nuts, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs and lean animal protein like chicken and fish. Carbohydrates, fat, protein and water, are all essential for a healthy, balanced diet.