Oprah LOVES bread...and so do I

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Carbs carbs carbs…. can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Wait, can’t live without them? I thought that carbs were bad and if I’m trying to lose weight I should cut them out of my diet…. the less the better. Right?

Wrong! And Oprah agrees.

Over time carbs have come to have a bad rep and be looked at in quite the negative light. With all of these low carb and no card diet fads it’s pretty easy to see where this negative connotation came from. But hear me out, to lose weight (or remain at the weight we are at) in a healthy and sustainable way we actually need to eat carbs.

Yes, you read that right we need carbs.

But why?

Carbs turn out to be the main source of your body’s energy. Once eaten, the carbs are broken down into what is called glucose. Glucose is a sugar that your body uses for energy. Once made glucose can be used immediately or stored away for later.

Okay, so what you’re telling me is I can eat all of the pasta and bread I want, and I can still lose weight? And you said carbs make a sugar, so that means sugar is good for me?

Well, not exactly.

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There are such things as “bad carbs”. These are known as refined carbs. Refined carbs, or “bad carbs” are processed more and in turn lose some of the nutritional value. There is also usually sugar added to these (and no it’s not glucose the “good sugar”). Your cookies, cakes, and white breads would fall into this category.

This is where the bread and pasta thing comes in.

“Bread is bad”

“Ziti makes you meaty”

“Rolls give you rolls”

Listen bread is one of my favorite things, and there is no way I’d ever give it up. And you don’t have to either. The beauty of bread and pasta is that we have a ton of different varieties. Now we just need to know what we’re looking for so that we don’t eat those “bad” carbs.

The answer is whole grain. Whole grain bread and pastas are going to be the ones that get you those healthy carbs we need to turn into glucose. Whole grain options are higher in fiber, resulting in a longer breakdown process and ultimately more nutrients per calorie along the way (more bang for your buck, essentially). Fruits and vegetables are also part of the good carb family (the fresh and frozen, not canned packed in syrup or things like that…. come on, I see what you’re trying to do there).

Okay okay, so what’s the point?

The point is say no to carb-less diets! Carb-less diets actually make you GAIN weight in the end. Yes I said gain and diet in the same sentence. Once you’ve lost the weight you wanted and go back to enjoying bread and pasta all of that weight comes back! Don’t believe me? Try cutting carbs for a month or two, and then eating them and tell me what happens. When you cut out the carbs all your losing is water weight because your body is using up its stores of glucose. It is not normal to cut a vital part of the diet, such as carbs, out completely so our physiological nutrition becomes imbalanced. So basically unless you want to live the rest of your life carb-less you need to keep some in your diet! Like I said before it’s all about moderation and selection.

So in the end “carbs” doesn’t have to be a dirty word after all. Just stick to your whole grains, fruits, veggies, and be aware of the type of product your consuming. Please enjoy this video of Oprah as much as we did!

- Kate G. Assistant Lifestyle Educator