The Standard American Diet, or SAD diet, is dangerously abundant in refined and processed carbohydrates.
Carbs are over consumed on a daily basis by Americans. Some willingly, but most without any acknowledgement.
And, while portion control helps, it is only a small piece of the puzzle.
What it comes down to is the food choices we make over the portion size. Whether that food is whole or processed, the amount of fiber and carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, protein content, and so forth. A more accurate way to measure the carbohydrate content is by counting the net carbs. Net carbs are he amount of carbs that are digestible by the body. Net carbs can be calculated by taking the total amount of carbohydrates – dietary fiber. For example, an avocado may have as much as 12g total carbohydrates but 10g dietary fiber, resulting in only 2g net carbs.
Lets look at 20 grams of net carbs distributed across different food types.
What is the clear difference between the white processed starches on the left verse the whole food low-carbohydrate options on the right? Well, the size. Also, the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and protein.
More educational visualizations can be found on www.dietdoctor.com.
The best thing you can do is to replace these refined carbohydrates for vegetables whenever you can. For example, replace your white rice or pasta with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. Replace your flour tortilla or hamburger bun with a lettuce wrap. Replace your large potato with sauteed squash.
Find out where you can make the first change. If that means substituting or eliminating refined carbohydrates at breakfast or lunch, then do that first. Replace it with the aforementioned vegetable substitutes or by increasing your portion of protein.
Want to know the exacts of your carb consumption?
I recommend tracking your foods. Myfitnesspal is an easy and free option with over 5,000,000 food options. Many of my patients and myself utilize Myfitnesspal to keep us accountable and close to our goals. I recommend keeping your carb consumption to as low as 30% of your diet.
This article is contributed by Spencer Safty, River Bend Medical Associates’ Clinical Nutritionist.