Largely due to the diets that took the world by storm, such as South Beach and Atkins, carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap with people trying to slim down. The fact is, your body needs a healthy amount of carbohydrates in order to function at its best and keep your metabolism churning. The following are five reasons not to kick out pasta and other complex carbohydrates completely out of your diet.
1. Carbohydrates Fuel your Body
Just as your vehicle will not run without gas, your body does not function optimally without carbohydrates. Your body naturally converts carbs into glucose (a form of sugar) that is used to fuel your brain, muscles and other cells. While your body can rely on the other macronutrients found in food, namely protein and fats, carbs are the best energy source.
2. Cutting Carbs can lead to Increased Disease Risk
Healthy carbohydrates found in whole grains, pulses, starchy fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as heart problems, colon cancer and more. Complex carbohydrates found in foods such as pasta, skin-on potatoes, starchy vegetables and other whole grains are high in fiber which contributes to a healthy digestive system and can lead to lower levels of bad cholesterol. Studies have shown most people get less than 60-percent of the recommended daily amounts of fiber.
3. Homemade Pasta can help you Lose Weight
In moderations, starchy foods made with whole grains, such as homemade pasta, fill you up faster than high calorie foods containing fats. Combining a reasonable portion of pasta with a variety of vegetables and a lean protein will keep you fuller longer and for less calories than many other food choices. As an added bonus, you feel more satisfied because you are not denying yourself food you enjoy in order to lose weight.
4. Feel Happier and Sleep Better
You may remember hearing that tryptophan is responsible for the sleepy feeling most of us get when we overindulge in a big turkey dinner. Tryptophan is required by your body to produce serotonin, which is responsible for making you feel happier and sleep better. Insufficient serotonin can lead to depression, restlessness and anxiety problems. Since carbohydrates contain tryptophan, including them as part of your well-balanced diet can make you happier.
5. Carbs are Brain Food
Glucose is what feeds your brain and fuels your neurotransmitters, which contributes to clear thinking, better memory and improved overall health. Since glucose is found in carbohydrates, maintaining a healthy intake of carbs provides your brain the fuel it needs to run its best.
The key to fueling your body and keeping it in its best shape is to remember that a balanced diet with moderated portions is the best method. Just as you would not try to run your car on a type of fuel it was not made to burn, you should not deprive your body of necessary components it needs to create optimal fuel. Check out Grandma’s Pasta to see the variety of homemade pastas including vegetables and whole grains to fuel your body. Eating healthy can taste great!