Friday, August 21, 2009
If you thought that title was a clever way for me to announce that I was ridding my diet of most carbs, you're going to be disappointed. No, this is a good old-fashioned rant about one of my pet peeves: the vilification of carbohydrates.
I figured today is as good a day as any for a rant. Rants are, after all, much easier to write than a well-thought-out post about some journey of self-discovery or a well-reasoned response to some poorly designed health study. I'm just plain tired at the end of this long week, so a rant it is!
Let's face it, carbs are like people: there are good ones, and there are bad ones. But somehow carbs seem to have all been lumped together in the collective public mind, if there even is such a thing (see, with a rant you don't need to fact-check or even consider whether you're making sense!). Well I'm a carb-eating, potato-lovin' gal who's fed up!
Recently at my gym I overheard a woman boast that she NEVER eats ANY carbs. Hello? Has not a fruit or vegetable passed through her carb-virgin lips? And if so, what, exactly, is she eating?
Her statement was so shocking that a trainer who overheard it felt compelled to insert himself into the conversation and warn her that she was jeopardizing her health. She waved off his concerns like a plate full of pancakes and home fries.
Carbohydrates are the body's chief energy source. Leave them out of your tank and you'll be running on empty soon enough.
So back to those potatoes I love. Are they good for you or bad for you? Well, it mainly depends on how they're prepared. French fries — not so good for you. Baked — and served without a ladle of sour cream and a half-cup of bacon bits — pretty good for you, especially if you eat the skin, too. Potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
I'll be sure to think of that woman at the gym the next time I bake a potato: this spud's for you!