Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you need ‘em. Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet because they are the main source of your energy. Like fat and protein, carbs are one of the three major components of food and are also called macronutrients.
Between 1991 and 2002, the carbohydrate intake of an average Canadian increased 18 per cent, due to increased consumption of pasta, specialty breads, and cereal-based snacks. We also eat on average one potato a day in the form of fries and potato chips. However, carbs tend to be low or moderate in calories. So it’s not the amount we’re eating but the kind of carbs we’re eating. Fruits and vegetables are carbs and in their natural state are fine, but start eating deep-fried breaded zucchini, deep-dish apple crisp, fries, or loading up a perfectly healthy baked potato with high calorie, saturated fat products like sour cream, then they become a problem.
The other problem is we are eating more grains, which are not a bad thing in themselves – think quinoa– but manufacturer’s process out the good stuff and throw in sugar, fat and salt. What you’re left with is packaged food with little nutritional value. The same warning goes with supposed “healthy” processed foods like 100% whole wheat crackers. Ever tried eating just one ounce of your favourite store-bought tortilla chip or any high-fat, salty chip for that matter?
Homemade corn tortilla chips for example pack the same amount of calories as the packaged ones for twice the serving size, not to mention the fact that you are actually eating something. And they are more satisfying.
You have choice. If you want to stay healthy opt for high quality carbs. If you’re snacking, consider baking your own tortilla chips and dipping it into TOFUTTI® BETTER THAN CREAM CHEESE, without partially hydrogenated fat and no trans fatty acids available in three flavours: French Onion, Herbs & Chives and Garlic & Herb.
That’s a good carb treat.