ABC News(NEW YORK) — Carbs often get a bad reputation. On the latest episode of “Motivated” with Mara Schiavocampo, endocrinologist Dr. Rekha Kumar and nutritionist Maya Feller tell you what you need to know about balancing carbs and a healthy lifestyle.
1) Not all carbs are evil
“I wish I could stand from the rooftops and yell out ‘not all carbs are evil — you just have to find the right ones,’” Feller said. Often the perception is to cut carbs if you are trying to lose weight or stay in shape. Feller argues that a low-carb philosophy is not always the secret to staying fit.
“So many people believe that they have to take the carbs out of their diet completely and actually you do need some carbohydrates. The question of the type of carbohydrate if you’re pairing it and the portion size that you’re having you know you can’t take it all out.”
For healthy carbs, she recommends starting with a plant based or whole grain source. “I love non-starchy vegetables. I think everyone could eat probably two or three more servings per day.” Try switching out rice for a palm-size serving of green beans, peas or squash. “They tend to last a little bit longer in comparison to refined carbohydrates,” she added.
2) Not all carbs are equal
“Not all carbs are equal either,” Kumar emphasized. “So 100 calories from a doughnut is different than you know 100 calories from a sweet potato salad.” Your body processes food differently despite the calorie count, which is important to remember if you’re counting your calories for weight loss. “You’re going to get fiber, you’re going to get potassium; 100 calories from a donut is going to give you added sugar-refined carbohydrates where they have put the vitamins and minerals back in,” Feller said.
3) Find what works for your body
While there are many tips for balancing carbs and a healthy lifestyle, it’s still important to find what works for your body. “I think that that’s one of the biggest challenges that we have in this country right now is that people are looking for those magic numbers while living in this fast food nation,” Feller said. Figuring out your normal is key — Feller recommends meeting with a doctor or dietitian to see where you should be.
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