Candace's Favorite Things

Thursday, August 11, 2011

THURSDAY'S DISH'IN NUTRITION...."Do You Eat Carbs at night Candace"?

Today's post is short and ....well, I'll try to be sweet. I have been asked this question more times that I can count and 'honest injun'(have I mentioned yet I am so proud that I'm part Cherokee?..I digress),  I was asked this again just yesterday.
 I was working in Starbuck's when I looked up from my two computers. YEP, TWO. They were running simultaneously(hey, no joking ...if you knew the project I was working on, it'd make sense so..get off my back). I was also wearing a head set and  actually probably looked a little 'SCARY BUSY' ...mainly because I was. You know. You've been there. I had a half an hour to get this project finished, meet a deadline , scoop up my stuff, (which now days appears to be more like luggage than just a brief case and a purse) and be on my way. That's when she stopped me. I heard a voice speaking to me, so I looked up from my work and without skipping a beat, a dear woman began to question me on just about everything to do with nutrition. Welcome to my world!
"Do you eat carbs at night"? I'm thinking ..."WHAT"? "What exactly do you mean dear", I asked while fumbling with my Ipad. "Well, I mean, I certainly don't", she said and continued, "Now I've heard that there's some kind of Carbohydrate out there, I think it begins with the letter Q, or a K sound ...or, oh something like that..? Oh, I can't remember what it's called, but anyway, I've Heard that its OK to....." and that's when I stopped her. This wasn't my first RODEO,not by a long shot..( to quote a popular, or not so popular television psychologist...depending on what trips your trigger..oopps, there I go again. ANYWAY...),I continued, "you know, I've heard you say 'I'VE HEARD THAT'... several times in the few minutes that we've been speaking and that's a problem"...she took a seat.
"I have to leave, so I'm gonna make this SHORT AND SWEET, K? SO...LET ME ASK YOU-DO YOU EAT LETTUCE"?
"Yes", she said, "Ok, how about cucumbers, celery, mushrooms, apples, cantaloupe, Spinach,cabbage, onions or radishes,stuff like that. ...."? Her eyes grew bigger trying to figure out where in the world I was FRANTICALLY going With this. "YES. OF COURSE I DO, WHY"? I went down this road because the entire premise of the conversation started with whether or not I EAT CARBS and even more shocking,,,,wait for it.... SHE WAS ASKING IF I WOULD EVER CONSIDER EATING THE DREADED FOE AT NIGHT? Say it's not so! "Well, I said. Would it surprise you if I told you that all of those vegetables contain carbohydrates? In fact, they are considered carbohydrate type, food sources. Not by many mind you because most folks don't seem to know that. While the  carb content is low, the calorie count is also low, so they are close to the perfect carbohydrates. Especially for those watching their waist. Here's a quick nutrition lesson 101. When it comes to food, we basically have three MACROnutrients. 1)1)1)Proteins, 2)Carbohydrates and 3)Fats. Whatever you are eating is from one of these three basic food categories. Now going a little deeper -  each of the MACROnutrients cantains Vitamins, minerals etc. and those are called  MICROnutrients. SO, in short...vitamins and minerals(our MICROnutrients,)  are found IN (our MACROnutrients ), Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats.
 SO let's what you've grasped from this mini- nutrition lecture. Let's take a quick look at carrots for example. Carrot's contain ...(among many others vitamins and minerals) vitamin 'A' ! Carrots are most certainly considered a carbohydrate source. The vitamin 'A' is  just one of the  MICROnutrients that are found in that  MACROnutrient called a carrot!
Back to the inquisition;
"SO, Proteins, Carbohydrates or Fats...where do you think Lettuce falls in that group"? "It's a vegetable" she said. "Yes dear, yes it is. BUT is it is mainly considered a  Protein, a Carbohydrate or a Fat. It needs to fit into one of those groups"! "Well, it's not a Fat right"? "Right"..."It's not a considered a Protein huh"?  "NOPE" 'So it's considered a Carbohydrate then"? "Yes"!
Ok, so here's the bottom line. The lion's portion's share of every one's diet must come from (hopefully) quality, complex carbohydrates. It is our first, favorite source or fuel used for energy (of any kind of even mild intensity) and is stored in our liver and our muscles in a the form  of what is called glycogen. So, at then, at least 45 to 50 % of our daily caloric intake needs to come from good complex carbohydrates. If you happen to be an endurance athlete, or athlete period, (or extremely physically active)... that percentage will need to creep up a bit. Otherwise,  we'll be pretty logy, wiped out and if we skimp on this food source, we'll also become fuzzy in our thinking...WHY? Oh, because our brains need carbs to fuel them. But the most important issue of all....want to burn fat properly? GO AND RESEARCH THIS STATEMENT and feel free to get back to me. HEAR ME NOW FOLKS...and do look it up but.....
" FAT BURNS IN A CARBOHYDRATE FLAME"! I won't go into it hear but without enough carbohydrates in our diets, we cannot properly break down fat. Hummmmm....right? IT's just plain true. SO, TRUST ME...but never just go by WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD....RESEARCH IT, no matter who the source and see if it's true. IT will be, but you should always do so. There is so much conflicting information out there today. SO much miss-information and so much out and out lies to make many CRAZY  books sell better etc., that the truth is convoluted us into obesity! The truth isn't cool or sexy. There are Crappy Carbohydrates out there...obviously higher in carbohydrate content because they contain tons of sugar and cupcakes,  processed grains, and chips...etc. Yes, these are also carbohydrates, but I mainly call then GARBAGE CARBS. However, there are also Crappy Proteins out full pork Bacon, or full marbled fat filled red meats, or  how bout those healthy, protein rich Pork skins ? YUCK! You get my point. Same for fats, but that's for another day. SO, this conversation had to come to an abrupt end but she is now my new Face book friend  and I just love her enthusiasm for wanting to know the truth...oh and by the way.,Lots of veggies have trace proteins and fats. The vegetable sources that have more protein often tend to be higher in caloires, but so can ones which contain a lot of carbohydrates from starch or sugar make my point, a couple of vegetables that are CONSIDERED 'PROTEIN' Sources are;
AVACADOS; but  broken down, they  look like this , (Protein 1.9 grams per serving and Carbohydrates, 1.9  grams per serving and Fats, 19.5 grams per serving ...though it be considered a healthier source of fat than saturated etc. Leaving the Calorie count at a high 195 cal. per serving.) Let's try one more ...POTATOES; did you know they are considered a higher protein vegetable source? they are..but watch this (Protein 2.1 grams per serving, Carbohydrates 17.2 grams per serving and Fats,0.2 grams per serving. Leaving the calorie count rather low...a reasonable 80/90 calories for a regular sized potato). SO, don't be scared of Carbohydrates. BE AFRAID OF GARBAGE....PERIOD!
TO answer her original question..."Do I eat Carbohydrates at night. I'm about to go get my favorite snack, and when I was 13 I thought I'd  invented it until I saw it on a restaurant menu years later. My favorite late night snack? "An unfashionable wedge of Iceberg lettuce"...Yum and only approx. 35 calories in a small head...and  in a HUGE HEAD, I mean big you couldn't down it in a single sitting...about 75/80. I sprinkle it with no fat mayo or Calorie free Balsamic Vinaigrette or just the Vinegar itself! Sometimes I have low calorie microwave pop corn...carbs ...oh no, say it isn't so! YOU BET CHA!!! You wanna know my body fat percentage? NOT TONIGHT! That's for another day...MAYBE. But I will tell you,  it's quite good!

If you want more nutrition info, watch WBAL this Saturday (that's tomorrow morning) or DVR it. I am doing my segment on Nutrition. I'm on about 6:45 AM, right before we click over to the today show!

Until tomorrow,
I suggest;
Take no ones word for odd sounding nutrition information(not even mine) TEST ME OUT and then, trust the source,,, and do some of your own research.
Choose High Volume, Low Calorie foods like, ICEBERG LETTUCE or others you love.
Understand that most all foods have trace amounts of Carbs, Proteins and Fats...some do not (animal products for example are pure protein but that doesn't necessarily mean they are great for you ...remember?) and it's ok to eat Carbs at night...just don't eat JUNK or more calories you need to maintain your current weight!

(if you eat enough nutrient dense, fiber rich, caloric friendly'll be able to)!

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