Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Brief Chat about Nutrients, Carbs, and Gluten

Strawberry Salad 
Organic strawberries, spinach, arugula, carmelized onion, fennel, walnuts, daikon radish, fresh herbs, homemade balsamic dressing

All food is made up of 3 macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.   Our bodies need all three.  Protein for growth, muscle, and tissue repair.  Fat for absorbing vitamins, energy, and maintaining cell membranes.

Carbohydrates are our main source of fuel.  They are necessary for proper function of the muscles, kidneys, brain, nervous system, immune system, and intestines.   Fiber is an important type of carb to aid in digestion, decrease risk of disease, and lower cholesterol.  

Avoiding carbohydrates for weight loss or disease prevention such as diabetes and heart disease is dangerous.  It can make the body ill due to nutrient deficiency.  Choosing healthy carbohydrates is easy, and should be the bulk of every meal.  Choose whole vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.  Always avoid highly processed and refined foods and stay away from refined sugar.  This will keep your body healthy and maintain a healthy weight. 

Gluten is NOT a carb.  It is a protein found in wheat.  Some bodies do not respond well to gluten and develop allergies to it.  This is not a reason to avoid carbohydrates, it is a reason to avoid wheat, if your body has a negative reaction to it.  Whole grains such as wheat berries contain gluten, but often don’t affect people with gluten allergies.  Avoid refined wheat products (even wheat bread!) and choose whole grains and sprouted grains.