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Just about every day, I counsel a client who is trying to stay away from carbs. That is, they try not to eat bagels, sandwiches or a starch with dinner (pasta, rice, potato). When I ask why, they report carbs are “fattening” or a “waste of calories”. False.


Carbs are not fattening; excess calories are fattening. In fact, the conversion of carbs into body fat is a tough conversion; your body preferentially burns carbs for fuel. (Fatty foods, in comparison, easily convert into body fat.) Carbs offer the fuel you need to enjoy exercise. Active people who fail to eat carbs as the foundation of each meal end up fatigued and failing to enjoy their exercise program.


Wholesome carbs like oatmeal, whole what bread, and brown rice offer important nutrients, but so do refined carbs like white bagels and pasta that are enriched with b-vitamins and iron. The government guidelines suggest half your daily grains be whole grains, but half can be refined, if desired. That is, if you have white bread for lunch, you can balance it with brown rice for dinner.


My Sports Nutrition Guidebook  offers more information about carbs and can help put an end to carbohydrate confusion.


Enjoy your sandwich!



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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

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