Friday, January 6, 2012

To carb or not to carb...that is the question!

I'll begin by saying...Hi.  My name is Kati.  And I'm a carbaholic.  Knowing that, you are probably wondering why I talk so much about carbs or why I combine carbs with protein/veggies at meals and snacks.  The reason for this is because I was 'diagnosed' as prediabetic this past March (2011).  To be honest, I couldn't figure out why this would seemingly come out of nowhere.  I never had gestational diabetes with any of the girls, but I think in at least 2 of my pregnancies, I could have easily had it.  After the diagnoses, that's when it surfaced in my family.  There is apparently a history of both Type I and Type II diabetes in my family.  Nice.

With Weight Watchers, you are basically 'allowed' to eat whatever you want and still lose the weight.  In hindsight, I never really paid much attention to how much carbohydrate I was ingesting.  If I was craving something sweet or starchy, I ate it, counted it, and moved on.  That all changed in March.

Some people think that if you eliminate carbs all together, that you'll lose weight.  This could be equated to the Atkins diet (this is low to no carbs, high fat, lots of protein).  Sadly, I've seen this backfire on some where the minute they 'fall off' the diet they gain quite a bit of their weight back.  That is a tough pill to swallow!  Too many carbs can also affect your health *as I can attest to.*

So the question becomes, to carb or not to carb?  I say, CARB!  But, with the stipulation that you choose wisely.  What do I mean by that?  Look for whole grain pasta, use brown rice instead of white, whole wheat flour *where you can--I'll let you all know how the kamut flour goes*, baked potato with the skin on, baked sweet potatoes, and the like.  Again, all things in moderation.  Also, things you probably didn't know *or at least some of you didn't know*...fruit and some vegetables are also carb-ish.  Milk is a carb (this is why I opt for the Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze).  Yogurt is a carb.  Yikes, right?  Many days I feel like yelling, "I'M SURROUNDED BY CARBS!!!!" would be true. 

Maybe you're thinking, "But carbs give me energy!"  Yes, but they also can lead to a faster crash.  There is this delicate balance between protein and carbs.  Lean protein also gives you energy.  Am I saying that if you eat nothing but carbs that it will lead to diabetes?  Not necessarily.  I just think if we don't take care of our internal organs along with the other outwardly stuff, that at some point, you *could* have a problem.  Having been 'diagnosed' prediabetic just means that I am at a greater risk of developing diabetes at some point.  In that there is a genetic trait for it, I could have been the healthiest person known to man and still develop it as I get older.  So until that point, I want to do what I can to help my pancreas out.

Refined/processed carbs = BAD!

Whole grain carbs/carbs rich in fiber = GOOD!!!

Here is a list that has good carb choices on it.  I'm sure there are other sites that list them, but this one came up and I like it!  I think we may try quinoa this month.  We've never had it before, but I've heard that it's tasty.

One last point.  Yes, I know that some of the 'good' carbs take longer to cook, but if you plan ahead, then you can be prepared for when you are going to cook it.  There are lots of yummy choices and lots of ways to cook them, so go out and experiment!

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