Maintaining proper nutrition and exercise is the key to living a long life. It is inevitable that we will grow fatter as we age. That’s because nature dictates that our bodies will continue to loose muscle mass and store more fats as we grow older. Sadly, I am no exception to that rule. I have been feeling heavier these days. It is believed that every year after the age of 30, your body starts to lose about half a pound of muscles tissue, which is then replaced by a similar amount of fat in a process called sarcopenia. That led me to think of a way, which can be done, to at least, minimize age’s effect on my body. So besides exercising regularly, I have found out, that controlling my carbohydrate intake really do wonders in keeping my body stay trim and healthy.
We need carbohydrates to function properly. They are our body’s primary source of energy. But excess carbohydrates are converted into fats which are then stored by our bodies. It is then imperative that we choose the carbohydrates that we consume. A good source of carbohydrates is fruits and vegetables, but they too differ in the amounts of carbohydrates they contain, so we must also be watchful of them in our diets.
Knowing what the amount of carbohydrates is contained in fruits and vegetables can be classified from where part of the plant they came from. For Vegetables they are as follows:
- Leaves ( least amount of carbohydrates )
– Contains the greatest amount of fiber in the plant, also contains phytonutrients.
– Examples of low carb vegetables are spinach, herbs and lettuce.
- Stems and Flowers ( very low amount of carbohydrates )
– Examples of these include artichokes, aubergene, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.
- Fruits ( moderate amount of carbohydrates )
– The fruit of the plant is the part which harbors the seeds.
– Examples of these are beans, squash, eggplants and okras
- Roots ( very high in carbohydrates )
– Contains the greatest amount of carbohydrates in the plant.
– Examples root vegetables are yams, potatoes, cassava and taro.
For fruits, there is another way of classification on how much carbohydrates are contained in them:
- Berries ( lowest carbohydrates )
– Low carb fruits under berries also have the highest amount of antioxidants.
– Examples of berries are blackberries, blueberries, cranberries and gooseberries.
- Summer Fruits ( very low carbohydrates )
– Examples of these are peaches, apricots and melons
- Winter Fruits ( moderate carbohydrates )
– Grapefruit, citron, pomelo and oranges are examples of citrus fruits.
- Tropical Fruits ( high in carbohydrates )
– Mangoes, durian, jackfruit, rambutan and bananas are fruits with high sugar contents.
So for a leaner, healthier body, choose your carbohydrates intelligently. The largest group of carbohydrates in our diet must always be vegetables. We must also limit foods with added fats and refined sugars, such as sodas and candies, which are packed with calories and carbohydrates but low in nutrition. Although it’s hard to strictly maintain such diets, the eventual result will be a body that is to die for, No, to live for.