The media is constantly bombarding the American public with messages to eat fewer carbs. And while Americans could certainly use an overhaul on their carb habits, eating less isn’t necessarily the answer, nor is it required when you follow this one simple “carb rule”: Eat less sugar, eat more fiber.
As the above carb rule suggests, the biggest problem with your current carb intake is likely that you’re eating far too much sugar, and far too little fiber…a simple problem to correct when you know exactly to do.
First, start by eliminating the most common sugar-offenders in your diet: all juice, soda, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
The average can of soda contains over 30 grams of sugar, and the absolute worst kind: high fructose corn syrup.
Similarly, as we’ve shared many times before, fruit juice is NOT a healthy option. Get this stuff out of your house and away from your kids. It’s pure, unadulterated sugar.
As an alternative, go with beverages naturally sweetened with non-calorie sweeteners such as stevia leaf extract and erythritol. Zevia is a great brand of soda for a nice treat, or you can make your own naturally sweetened teas by adding a packet of one of these natural sweeteners to unsweetened tea. Lots of great non-calorie, no-sugar options here.
If you want the benefits and natural sweetness of fruit, eat the whole fruit (rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals) and skip out on the sugar-concentrated juice.
The next common source of sugar is found in dressings and sauces. BBQ sauce, sweet & sour sauce, honey mustard, packaged tomato sauce, and many salad dressings (just check the label) are loaded with sugar, and even worse, often combined with some of the worst denatured, unhealthy fat sources ever.
Make your own healthy salad dressings with extra virgin olive oil and various vinegars and when it comes to sauces, either make your own or turn to all-natural, reduced sugar versions and use them sparingly. Your best bet is to go to a natural health food store (like Whole Foods) to find these items, otherwise you’ll likely be trading sugar for other unhealthy artificial ingredients.
Other common sources of sugar include many brands of yogurt, breakfast cereals & bars, various breads, jellies & jams, alcoholic mixed drinks (tsk tsk), and then of course all those foods you already know you should be limiting, but still may be regularly snacking on (especially late at night) like ice cream, cookies, cakes and pastries.
Check out ‘The Paleo Recipe Book‘, you must eat right to get fit, loss weight or gain muscle. It all starts with what you eat.