Why You Should Eat Your Carbs?

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Are you suppose to lessen or avoid your carb intake because of the talks and the popularity of the low carb diet?

But the exact opposite is the case. The kinds of carbohydrates you get from fruits and vegetables are a necessary basis of your daily diet.

Instead of helping you “pack on the pounds,” they actually help you to burn fat. They are also a major source of fuel for your body, especially your muscles, brain and nervous system.

Carbs occur in two types: simple and complex.

They are broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which is metabolized by your body for energy.

Glucose not immediately used by you is stored in your muscles as glycogen, but if your body has an excess of glycogen, it is converted into fat.

However, because carbs prime your metabolism, you need them in order to burn fat. This is one of the major reasons you must not starve yourself and eat too few carbs.

You must eat a good intake of complex carbs, such as those found in fruits and veggies.

Simple carbs, such as those found in candies and sweets, and also fruit, are turned into glucose quickly. These are the kind which can add to your weight problem.

Complex carbs, such as those found in brown rice, veggies, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), whole grain bread, and cereals are digested. Thus, used at a much slower rate, giving your body time to prime its metabolism.

There are four calories in each and every gram of carbohydrate. Nutritionists say that 50% of your diet should consist of complex carbs.

Simple carbs are high in calories but low in vitamins and minerals.

These are the so-called “empty calories” that you find in sodas, deserts, and other such sweets, and to some extent in fruits — especially fruit juices and fruit juice drinks.

You should be getting your major carb intake from whole fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.

Good high carb veggies are peas, peppers, pumpkin, radishes, spinach, squash, succotash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and turnips. Succotash, sweet potatoes, and green cooked peas are the highest in carbs.

You need several servings per day of complex carb foods such as these to maintain your energy levels and keep you from getting those “sluggish” feelings that make you feel sick and tired.

good carbs

Should we avoid carbs?

The complex carbs (dietary fiber) also have a very complicated molecular structure and resistant to most digestive enzymes produced by the human body.

As a result, they cannot be broken down into glucose or other nutrients at all. This is why fiber transmits the intestinal tract largely undigested. This has a knock-on effect on the speed of digestion of other carbs around them.

For example, where certain starches are “protected” by indigestible fibrous wrapping, the enzymes cannot get to grips with the starch as fast as normal.

Also, the presence of soluble fiber in the stomach and intestine typically creates a viscous mass of digesting food in which carbs and enzymes take longer to mix. Result? Carb digestion slows down.

As we have seen, since the human body runs on glucose, all carbs are converted into glucose in the digestive tract. The glucose then enters the bloodstream and thus contributes to a rise in “blood-glucose”.

Blood Glucose Must Be Kept Within Limits

A very high level of glucose in the blood is toxic, while a very low level is detrimental to bodily functions.

Therefore the body has a system to regulate the amount of glucose in the bloodstream to ensure that it remains balanced within safe parameters.

This glucose balancing system depends on two mechanisms: hunger and insulin.

Low Blood Glucose Triggers Hunger

If blood-sugar levels drop, the brain causes us to feel hungry. Result?
We eat food that is then converted into glucose and our blood glucose levels rise.

If we don’t eat and blood-glucose levels fall too low, we trigger the condition known as hypoglycemia.

If we eat a diet that contains too many high GI carbs (carbs that are rapidly converted into blood glucose) we force our body to respond by releasing equally large amounts of insulin into our bloodstream to cope with the glucose.

Over time this excessively high level of insulin can cause the “insulin-receptors” in our cells to become less sensitive to insulin.

The hunger-or-insulin see-saw mechanism works well, provided that we don’t eat too many High Glycemic Index (GI) carbs that are rapidly converted into glucose.

When this happens, when a LARGE amount of glucose enters the bloodstream (called a “sugar spike”), the system responds by releasing a LARGE quantity of insulin. It thinks we’ve eaten a huge amount of food.

The amount of insulin is so large that not only does it disperse the food glucose we have just eaten, it disperses a lot more. Result? Our blood glucose falls too low.

Thus, within a short time, about 2-3 hours, the brain tells us to feel hungry and we recommence eating. This rapid rise and fall in blood glucose, caused by excess production of insulin, is not good for our health or our eating habits.

complex carbs

5 Myths about Carbs in the Diet

It seems that carbohydrates are the new evil food item. It used to be that fat was the nutritional villain in our lives.

This led to the “fat-free” food craze that ironically has made so many people fat. In place of fat, sugar, MSG and other fat-building chemicals were added to foods. We now know that fats don’t make you fat, sugar does.

Recently, low-carb diets like the Caveman Diet and the Keto Diet are all the rage. They limit carbohydrates from processed foods and carbohydrates in general.

They focus on eating healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries, wild caught fish and grass-fed beef.

Is this low-carb attitude the best nutritional approach?

Let’s take a look at some carbohydrate myths you may have fallen for, and reveal the truth behind the lie.

1 – All Carbohydrates Are Equal

Simple carbohydrates are sugars. They are broken down quickly in your body, so quickly that they often are stored as fat for energy.

Complex carbohydrates are starches. They take a long time to process and do not lead to excessive fat build-up.

Complex carbohydrates are great for your body, simple carbohydrates are not, and all carbohydrates are not created equal.

2 – A Low-Carb Diet Is Right for Everyone

No 2 human beings are even remotely similar. Your internal processes, millions of them, are totally different than all of the other 7 billion people roaming the planet.

Low-carb diets have proven to be incredibly healthy for a great number of people. That said, what works for one person may not work for you.

3 – You Will Always Lose Weight on a Low-Carb Diet

This simply isn’t true. There are plenty of low-carb foods that can be fattening, especially if you consume too many calories. No matter what you eat, if you consume more calories than you burn on a daily basis, you will gain weight.

4 – Eating Low Carb Means Eating More Unhealthy Saturated Fat

We now know, after literally decades of anti-fat propaganda, that saturated fat is basically harmless. You don’t have to avoid healthy fats like coconut oil. Fat cuts of meat are okay to eat as well.

So are fatty fish like salmon, rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Just because we know that saturated fat is not the villain it has been made out to be. But, it doesn’t mean you should run out and consume 50 grams of fat every day, however.

5 – You Don’t Need Dietary Fiber As Long As You Cut Down on Carbohydrates

Dietary fiber is essential to human health. Soluble fiber can lead to health benefits such as improved cholesterol levels and weight loss. Unfortunately, a lot of carb-rich foods are also high in healthy fiber.

It may be a good idea to add some other fiber supplement to your diet if you are cutting back on the carbs.

food-healthy-vegetables-

By eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day, you will be boosting your health through better carb consumption.

The National Cancer Institute recommends that you have fruit juice — or better yet fresh fruit – every day for breakfast.

You must make these foods visible and easy to access throughout your daily routine.

And have to “sample the delicious spectrum” when it comes to the many different colors and varieties of fruits and vegetables.

You will get your “five a day” if you eat one cup of dark, leafy greens, one-half cup of red tomatoes, one-half cup of yellow peppers, six ounces of orange juice and one-half cup of blueberries. This is only one example of how you can consume “five a day” of fruits and vegetables to keep your complex carb ratio up.

Please notice this includes only one serving of fruit juice. Various nutrition experts state that you should eat whole, fresh fruits more often than drinking fruit juice, which keeps those simple sugars from adding to your weight problem.

The reason for this, simple sugars are more concentrated in fruit juices than in whole fruits.

Eat at least two cups of fruit a day, in a variety of fresh choices, such as one small banana, one large orange and one-quarter cup of fresh or canned apricots or peaches.

Also, eating fresh fruit adds more fiber to your diet and helps flush toxins from your system better than only drinking fruit juice does.

Eat plenty of dark, leafy green veggies, which are among the best foods for you. Eat broccoli and kale, as well as mustard greens and spinach.

In the same way, eat “orange” veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and winter squash.

For peas and beans, among the best are pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split peas, and lentils.

Foods such as these are extremely healthy, low in fat, and terrific for raising your energy levels.

Eating fruits and veggies will also greater lower your risk for cancer.

Researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have made “top ten” lists of the best antioxidant or anti-cancer fruits and vegetables.

Here are some of the most antioxidant members of the fruit and vegetable families of foods:

1) Fruits: prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries

2) Veggies: kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell peppers, onions, corn, and eggplant

You can easily sneak these into your family’s eating patterns. Try serving raw veggies at every meal, and take advantage of packaged, prepared veggies.

Put veggies into your breakfast and lunch, and start each family dinner with a mixed green salad.

Serve a salad entrée dish once per week, fill your spaghetti sauce with vegetables, and begin ordering a weekly pizza – with an extra serving of healthy vegetables.

If we were to eat more veggies and fewer processed foods, we as a country would lose weight, clean out our clogged arteries, balance our blood sugar and shut down a large number of hospitals in the process.

This would roughly solve growing health and obesity problems – in a nutshell.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

2 Types of Carbs: Simple & Complex

  • Simple Carbs: Turned into glucose quickly, add to your weight problem; found in sodas, desserts, sweets
  • Complex Carbs: Digested at a much slower rate; found in vegetables, legumes, brown rice
  • 50% of diet must consist of complex carbs

Should you avoid carbs?

  • Complex carbs have a very complicated molecular structure and resistant to most digestive enzymes
  • Blood glucose must be kept within limits
  • Low blood glucose triggers hunger
  • Trigger hypoglycemia if not eat and blood-glucose fall too low

5 Myths about Carbs in a Diet

  1. All carbohydrates are equal
  2. A low-carb diet is right for everyone
  3. You will always lose weight on a low-carb diet
  4. Eating low carb means eating more unhealthy saturated fat
  5. You don’t need dietary fiber as long as you cut down on carbohydrates

Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day – boost health through better carb consumption.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you fond of eating simple carbs?

– How much complex carbs are you eating each day?

– Do you avoid carbohydrates?

– Do you believe on those low-carb diet myths?

– How many servings of fruits and vegetables you eat everyday?


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Low Carb Chicken Recipes

low carb chicken recipes

Are you carb conscious? Carbohydrates are good for your body since it produces energy. But, if you are into taking the portion of intake then here are some chicken recipes for you.

 

Chicken Francaise

Ingredients

1/4 cup grated parmesan

2 tbsp butter

1 egg

1 tbsp lemon juice

12 oz chicken breasts, pounded thin

cream (optional)

 

Instructions

1. Melt butter in pan

2. Beat egg in a bowl and add cheese until the consistency of thick batter like cornmeal muffin mix.

3. Add a splash lemon juice.

4. Thickly coat chicken breasts with batter and drop into sizzling hot melted butter. May need to add more butter.

5. When done, remove from skillet.

6. Can add a little cream, or broth and/or lemon juice to deglaze the pan and make a little gravy.

(serves 2, 1 carb, 0 fiber, 369 cal, 19 fat, 46 protein)

 

 

Mustard Chicken 

Ingredients

3 tbsp butter, melted

2 tsp dijon mustard

2/3 cup crushed pork rinds

2 tbsp grated parmesan

1 1/2 tsp soy flour

2 tbsp butter

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts

shake or two of: garlic powder, thyme

sage, cinnamon, paprika, pepper

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven 350.

2. Melt 3 T butter and mix with mustard, garlic, and all spices.

3. Mix crushed pork rinds, parmesan, and soy flour, Then, place in shallow dish.

4. Cut each breast in half lengthwise.

5. Coat chicken well with mustard mixture. Roll in rind mixture.

6. Place in shallow baking dish, dot with butter, and bake covered about 30 minutes, then uncover and bake additional 15 minutes.

(Serves 2 @ 1 carb, 0 fiber, 529 cal, 36 fat, 48 protein)

 

 

Chicken Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

Ingredients

12 oz chicken breasts

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped onions

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 pkg frozen spinach, drained

5 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

1 sm tomato, chopped

 

Instructions

1. Saute chicken in 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil.

2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove when done.

3. Saute onions few minutes. Add vinegar and bring to a boil.

4. Boil 3 minutes, or until reduced to a glaze, stirring.

5. Add broth and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup.

6. Add spinach and dried tomatoes.

7. Remove pan from heat, whisk in 1 tbsp butter.

8. Serve over chicken, and top with chopped tomato.

(Serves 3,  16 Carbs, 6 Fiber (10 net carbs), 454 Cal, 22 Fat, 49 Protein)

 

 

Cheesy  Chicken

Ingredients

12 oz chicken breasts

1 tbsp butter

3 thin ham slices

1/2 c cheddar

1/2 c cream

salt, pepper, garlic powder

1/4 tsp liquid smoke

 

Instructions

1. Pound chicken, then saute in butter til done.

2. Add ham slices to pan and warm.

3. Remove chicken and ham.

4. Melt a little butter in the pan, add cream, seasonings, and liquid smoke.

5. Add cheese and stir til melted.

6. Put ham slice on each chicken breast and pour sauce over top.

(Serves 2,  3 Carbs, 0 Fiber, 613 Cal, 43 Fat, 53 Protein)

 

 

Chicken Alfredo 

Ingredients

12 oz chicken breasts

1/4 cup soy flour

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp butter

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup Alfredo sauce

 

Instructions

1. Mix spices with flour and dip chicken.

2. Saute in oil and butter until done and remove from pan.

3. Add a little butter and saute the mushrooms.

4. Stir in the alfredo sauce and stir until warm.

5. Serve over chicken.

(Serves 3,  5 Carbs, 0 Fiber, 483 Cal, 31 Fat, 44 Protein)

 

 

Spicy Chicken Hash

Ingredients—Sauce

3 tbsp butter

1 cup cream

1 cup chicken broth

salt, pepper, Old Bay seasoning

thickener (guar gum or Starch)

 

Ingredients–Hash

2 tbsp butter

1 med onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1-2 cups diced cooked chicken

 

Instructions

1. Mix all sauce ingredients except thickener and heat in the pot.

2. Mix thickener with a little water and stir in. Cook til thickened.

3. Saute onion and pepper in the butter.

4. Add mushrooms and salt, pepper, and parsley and saute til done.

5. Mix in chicken and sauce, and serve.

(Serves 4,  9 Carbs, 2 Fiber (7 net carbs), 494 Cal, 38 Fat, 30 Protein

 

 

Crispy Chicken with Honey Mustard

Ingredients

16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/3 c sour cream

crushed pork rinds

2 T heavy cream

2 T brown mustard

2 eggs

 

 

Instructions

1. Cut each breast into 4 slices.

2. Mix sour cream, cream, mustard and eggs with a little water (to pancake batter thickness) and dip chicken in batter.

3. Roll in pork rinds til covered and place in glass baking dish sprayed with PAM.

4. Spray the top of chicken breasts with PAM.

5. Bake at 350 for 25 min.

(Serves 3 @ 3 carbs, 0 fiber, 360 cal, 18 fat, 46 protein)

 

“Honey Mustard” Sauce 

Ingredients

1/2 c mayo

1 tbsp brown mustard

1 packet of sweetener

 

Instruction

Mix and use as dipping sauce.

Total: 1 carb, 0 fiber, 802 cal, 94 fat, 2 protein

 

 

Ranch Chicken 

Ingredients

3 boneless chicken breasts

1/2 pkg Hidden Valley dry Ranch Dressing*

3 slices bacon

1 cup shredded Cheddar

Instructions

1. Lay chicken breasts in bottom of casserole dish.

2. Sprinkle dry dressing mix on top. Lay bacon across, and top with cheese.

3. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

4. Remove foil and bake open additional 15 min.

(Total 7.5 carbs – serves 2 @ 3.8 ea)

 

 

Chicken Monterey

Ingredients

3 boneless chicken breasts

3/4 cup BBQ sauce

6 slices bacon

6 oz shredded Cheddar

 

Instructions

1. Pound chicken breasts until thin.

2. Saute in a pan until just about done. In the meantime, cook the bacon.

3. Pour about 1/4 cup BBQ sauce over each breast, top with 2 pieces of bacon, and sprinkle with cheese.

4. Cover just until cheese melts and serve.

(Serves 2 @ 7 carbs, 0 fiber, 639 cal, 40 fat, 66 protein)

 

 

Rolled Mozzarella Chicken

Ingredients

12 oz boneless chicken breasts

2 slices ham lunch meat

2 oz. mozzarella

crushed pork rinds

3 tbsp grated Parmesan

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix rinds and parmesan. Pound chicken breasts flat.

3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder.

4. Place 1/2 slice ham and some mozzarella on each breast.

5. Roll up and dip in rind-parmesan mixture.

6. Place in baking dish seam down, and bake 20-25 minutes.

(Serves 2 @ 1 carb, 0 fiber, 405 cal, 17 fat, 58 protein).

 

 

Country Chicken

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

16 oz chicken breasts

soy protein isolate (for breading)

2 chopped garlic cloves

1 cup mixed red & green pepper, cubed

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup diced canned tomatoes

 

Instructions

1. Bread the chicken and saute in oil until done.

2. Remove from pan and keep warm.

3. Add a little oil to the pan, saute peppers, garlic, onion, and mushrooms.

4. Season with basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, Old Bay (or your choice).

5. Add tomatoes and liquid, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon.

6. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

(Serves 4 @ 6 carbs, 2 fiber (4 NET carbs), 212 cal, 8 fat, 27 protein)

 

 

Chicken Fajita Casserole

Ingredients

1 tbsp oil

1 lb chicken breast, cut into strips

2 t taco seasoning mix

salt, pepper, garlic powder

1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced

1 cup red & green pepper strips

1/2 cup salsa

8 oz jack cheese, shredded

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Brown chicken in oil, and stir in seasonings.

3. When the chicken was done, remove from the pan.

4. Add onions and peppers and cook few minutes til crisp-tender.

5. Put chicken into casserole dish.

6. Top with onions and peppers.

7. Spread salsa on top and sprinkle with cheese.

8. Put under broiler for few minutes until cheese bubbly and melted.

(Serves 3 @ 9 carb, 2 fiber (7 NET carbs) 527 Calories, 29 fat, 55 protein)

 

 

Chicken Divan

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup broccoli, cooked

12 oz chicken breasts, raw, cut in cubes

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tbsp white wine

1 tsp chicken bouillon

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp curry powder

Parmesan cheese

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven 350.

2. Mix all ingredients except broccoli and chicken.

3. Stir in chicken, then broccoli.

4. Spoon into 13×9″ pan and bake 25 min.

5. Top with parmesan and bake additional 5 min.

(Serves 2 @ 6 carb, 2 fiber (4 NET carbs),780 Calories, 64 Fat, 48 protein)

 

 

Orange Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts, cut into strips

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup DaVinci orange syrup*

1 tsp guar gum

salt and pepper

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

3/4 cup red pepper, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 cup bok choy, shredded

 

Instructions

1. Heat oil in a pan.

2. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger and saute until almost done.

3. Remove from pan.

4. Saute vegetables in little more oil for few minutes.

5. Mix all other ingredients well, making sure guar gum is well dissolved.

6. Return chicken to pan, then add the sauce.

7.Stir for a few minutes until everything is coated and hot.

(Serves 2 @ 9 carb, 2 fiber (7 NET carbs), 294 cal, 9 fat, 42 protein).

 

 

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts

1 egg 1/2 cup crushed pork rinds

oregano, garlic powder, parmesan

3/4 cup tomato sauce (Ragu Pizza Sauce)

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven 350.

2. Mix rinds with spices and parmesan in a shallow bowl.

3. Beat egg in another bowl.

4. Dip each chicken piece in egg, then roll in crumb mixture.

5. Lay in sprayed baking dish. Bake the chicken for 35 minutes.

6. Add about 1/4 cup tomato sauce over each breast. And sprinkle each with 1/2 cup mozzarella.

7. Return to oven and bake additional 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

(Serves 2 @ 7 carb, 1 fiber (6 NET carbs), 600 Calories, 31 fat, 70 protein)

 

 

Easy Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

3-4 chicken breasts, pounded even but not too thin

salt, pepper, garlic powder

1 cup shredded cheddar, divided

8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 lb. sausage

4 oz cream cheese, soft

 

Instructions

1. Season the chicken, brown in 3 minutes on each side in oil. Set aside.

2. Crumble and cook sausage until brown.

3. Drain well. Preheat oven to 350.

4. Spray casserole dish and place mushrooms in the bottom.

5. Place chicken on top.

6. Mix sausage, cream cheese, 1/2 cheddar and spoon and smooth over the chicken.

7. Cover and bake 30 min.

8. Remove the cover. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 15 minutes until chicken completely cooked.

Serves 3 @ 5 carb, 1 fiber, 972 Calories, 69g Fat, 77g Protein