Complex Carbs. These are naturally occurring, and are found in fiber-loaded foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, wheat, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes.
The body breaks down complex carbs at a much slower rate than simple carbs.
As a result, glucose is released more slowly than with simple carbs. This means that complex carbs give us longer-lasting energy and do not spike our blood sugar levels.
They also fuel our nervous and muscular systems. Complex carbs will power us through the most grueling workouts, so please don't cut them out.
But when it comes to simple carbs, try to cut them way down. Better still, strive to cut them out completely.
Complex carbs like fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with the life-preserving vitamins, minerals, and fibers that we need for balanced nutrition. The benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables are one of the few areas that virtually everyone agrees.
There are many good varieties of each. Try them all, and go with what you enjoy. Load up on every brightly colored option available, since brightly colored fruits and vegetables are densely packed with anti-oxidants and other nutrients.
Blue, purple, orange, red, yellow and green should give you a broad spectrum of products to have fun trying.
To further drive this point home, consider this. When the food researchers initially recommended that we lower our intake of fat and increase our consumption of carbs, they meant leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and beans.
So, what did the average person do? They piled tons of fried potatoes, white rice, and pasta on their plates.
Their ever-expanding waistlines provided the answer to the question of "How did that work out for you?"
Whole grains are unrefined, provide us with usable energy, fight disease and deliver a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
They also are filling, and therefore helpful in controlling our desire for the wrong kinds of foods. Don't forget oatmeal, whole-wheat or rye bread, brown rice, and popcorn.
Dairy. As mentioned earlier, dairy products should not be mindlessly consumed. On the other hand, dairy can play a beneficial role in our good health efforts.
Dairy foods are rich in calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin D, potassium, protein, and magnesium. The key things to remember is to look for organic dairy. If that's not possible, at least look for low-fat options in milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and butter.
Fad Diets. There is one quick, simple and easy answer to the question of fad diets: AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS! Many of the rigid diet recommendations and plans have contributed some useful ideas to the nutrition puzzle.