Books have been written on this subject, but I’m going to do my best to put you on the right track in a few hundred words. First ask yourself, “Which is better, an apple or a broccoli crown? Yam or Yukon Gold Potato? Oatmeal or branflakes?” Drumroll please. The answer is that they’re all good food choices. There is no better. But what if I included a brownie as a choice? Those of you who have attended my workshops and seminars know my answer. “It depends.” It depends on the size of the brownie, how it was prepared, what else you’re eating in that meal, during the day, and throughout the week. You also need to look at what activities you are doing, etc. The secret is to take a holistic approach. It’s not about one food item. Look at the big picture. How often are you eating? How much are you eating? What are your health and fitness goals? Once you look at food this way, it’s empowering. You’re no longer trying to eat foods based on the glycemic index. You can enjoy eating.
I have a saying that “Carbs beget Carbs”. The more carbs you eat (especially the sweet and sugary ones), the more carbs you want to eat. That’s why it’s important to focus on fibrous foods, drink plenty of water, and eat meals that also include fat and protein. This will help keep your energy levels more even as well as reduce your carb cravings.
One of the problems with how we’re being educated about carbohydrates is that it’s Good Carbs versus Bad Carbs. For example, we have been convinced that rice is bad for us. Realize that over half of the world’s population eats rice on a daly basis, and these people do not experience the amount of obesity, diabetes, and other diet related diseases like we do in the United States. It’s about lifestyle and food choices.
Now here’s the big test. Tell me how I did. Two days ago I made an Asian stir-fry. Lots of veggies (red bell pepper, ginger, garlic, carrots, peas, celery, onion, etc), plus marinated boneless chicken, all on top of a bed of rice. I cooked one cup of rice (yields 3 cups cooked), and the four of us divided it up . . . I got the biggest portion. It was delicious. Problem solved.