Fad diets and health trends seem to switch up from day to day. Remember the South Beach Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and Atkins? All have their own takes on what you need to cut out or eat more of to slim down.
Even though the fad diets come and go, one piece of advice that has remained constant in the weight loss industry is that keeping your carb intake low is key to losing and keeping the weight off.
Outside of weight loss, cutting back on the “bad” carbs can also help prevent or control diabetes and keep your body from storing unwanted fat.
But before you cut carbs out of your diet, it’s important to know that no two carbs are the same. Carbs or carbohydrates actually come in three main types, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
First, there’s sugar, which includes sugars from fruit (fructose), milk sugar (lactose) and white and brown sugar. Corn syrup is another type of sugar carb. Sugar is one type of carb that should be avoided or limited as much as possible.
The second type of carb is starches, which include starchy vegetables, like potatoes, beans, and grains. These are not necessarily bad for you, but when you choose vegetables to fill your plate, you don’t want to overdo it as the starches can be high in calories. Look for the highest fiber content when eating starches to reap the most benefits. If you can, avoid all the refined carbs in this group like white bread and pasta.
The third type of carb is fiber. As you may know, a diet that’s high in fiber can aid in weight loss and weight maintenance. Fiber helps you feel full with fewer calories and helps you digest the food you take in. This category does include green, leafy veggies, beans, and other high-fiber foods that help your overall health.
Now that you understand that no two carbs are the same, the swaps below will help you fill your plate with those good carbs from veggies and high-fiber foods, so you won’t miss your usual rice and potatoes on the dinner table.
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Instead of white rice, you can use cauliflower as the base for your next meal. Cauliflower rice is now available in