Understanding how our bodies work is empowering.
What is a Carb?
"Carbs" come from the word carbohydrate which simply means carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates are macronutirents meaning you need them in large amounts, approximately 50 to 60 percent of your diet. Carbohydrate refers to a large food group that includes fruits, vegetables and grains. Other foods contain carbohydrates such as the lactose or "milk sugar" in dairy products.
What is Fiber?
Eating a low carb diet does not mean reducing the carbs needed for a healthy diet but instead decreasing or eliminating the foods high in refined sugar and low in fiber such as candy, soda pop, pastries and processed foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains are "carbs" that contain a significant amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is absorbed in the blood stream and helps keep the vascular system clean. Insoluble fiber is passed through the bowels or intestinal tract.
Food is broken-down into a simpler form and passed through the digestive tract through a contracting and propelling movement called peristalsis. Insoluble fiber from food helps the intestines retain an adequate amount of water to form a soft bulk that flows easily through the bowels to eliminate waste products. A diet low in healthy carbs is also low in fiber and may lead to constipation, or worse, an impaction. Adults should receive about 25 to 35 g of fiber per day from fresh fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, quinoa, whole grain breads and cereals and legumes such as black beans.
Slow and stagnant peristalsis is the result of a low fiber diet, sedentary lifestyle, pain medication and dehydration. If you have a medical condition or are taking prescription drugs, consult with your medical care team on a proper diet and activity that will support healthy bowel movements. Digestion is also affected by the pressure and weight caused by pregnancy. Consult with your physician for diet and treatment remedies to maintain a healthy colon throughout your pregnancy and postpartum.
Include fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods in your diet everyday.
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