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Sunday, September 6, 2009

HOW TO: Choose Healthy Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are starches that our bodies turn into sugar when digested. Rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and other starchy vegetables are high in carbohydrates. Choose to eat healthy carbohydrates instead of eliminating them altogether. Here are a few tips to help you choose healthy carbohydrates.

Step 1 - Choose carbohydrates made from white flour with whole grain flour. Buy whole grain breads and rolls for more healthy carbohydrates. Whole grains are higher in fiber and reduce the carbohydrate load on the body.

Step 2 - Replace regular pasta with whole wheat or spinach pasta to have a healthy meal. Whole wheat or spinach pasta can taste very good when prepared with your favorite recipe.

Step 3 - Substitute other vegetables for potatoes when possible. Choose healthy carbohydrates like cauliflower, turnips, jicama and celery root in place of potatoes. Boil them, mash and season them for a great mashed potato substitute. Don't cut out all potatoes from your diet though, they too are a healthy carbohydrate when eaten in moderation.

Step 4 - Eat fresh fruit as part of a healthy diet. Choose fresh fruit that's in season for the best flavors. Fresh fruit contains vitamins which are essential to good health. Fresh fruit is also high in fiber. If fresh fruit isn't available, frozen fruit that is unsweetened is a healthy choice.

Step 5 - Include fresh vegetables in your diet. Vegetables are healthy carbohydrates because they add fiber and vitamins to your diet. Vegetables retain more vitamins if eaten raw, blanched or steamed.

Step 6 - Add beans to your diet. Beans are an important source of protein, which is essential to your health. Beans are a healthy carbohydrate; they're also very high in fiber and contribute to good digestive health. Many vegetarians use beans as their main source of protein.

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