Good Carbs and Bad Carbs

A familiar pattern, I have noticed, is that many people become interested in eating better after they become unhappy with their weight.

There are a million good reasons to eat a healthy, non-toxic and balanced diet, and keeping your weight down is definitely one of them. Carrying extra weight will put enormous strain on your body and internal systems. Looking beyond the surface, carrying less weight will be good for your heart, good for your internal organs, good for your joints and your back, and will make you feel more energetic.

If weight loss is a goal and you are starting to learn about how to eat better, a great place to start is to learn about good and bad carbs. To continue reading this post, click here..

Carbs can be viewed as the fuel your body needs to operate. Starve yourself of carbs and tour body will try to conserve energy and you will feel tired. Eat more carbs than you need and your body will store the excess energy as fat. A high percentage of the population lives a lifestyle that falls into the latter category.

There are a few different reference systems. The FDA used to refer to carbs as simple and complex, but a more useful reference is the glycemic index.

Foods that break down quickly in your body, for example refined sugar, corn syrup, white flour, white bread and starchy foods, are considered high glycemic. Foods that take longer for your body to break down and are higher in fibre, such as whole grains, wheat bread, and most vegetables, are low glycemic.

When you consume high glycemic food, your body will process it quickly, and unless you consume a very small amount or you are in the middle of a very physically strenuous activity, your body will turn excess carbs into fat. This happens very quickly, often in a matter of minutes depending on the food source. Once your body has converted all the carbs you may experience a crash and you will likely feel the need to eat again repeating the whole cycle (btw this is why weight loss programs that use point systems to control food intake score these foods high to diacourage consumption).

If you consume low gycemic food, your body converts the food slowly and drip feeds energy into your system over the course of hours. You won’t likely feel empty or hungry as you might after eating high glycemic food.

Some people may find it hard to avoid high glycemic food since sugars and starchy ingredients are in so many food products (even organic products and those labeled natural). As a general rule by eating more whole foods in their original form and avoiding processed foods, you will considerably reduce your intake of high glycemic foods and your carb intake will become more aligned with your body’s energy needs.

If you also manage your overall carb intake versus what you need, you can manage your weight. Your body will thank you.

More information and the glycemic index and alist of various foods can be found at: http://www.glycemicindex.com/

2 Responses to Good Carbs and Bad Carbs
  1. […] Sugar – A few years ago, I starting avoiding sugar/fructose and all other processed sugars. This is a tough one to eliminate altogether,  since there is sugar in so many foods, especially if you eat out, but I have virtually eliminated it by avoiding sweets and processed foods and by eating mostly whole foods. Now I don’t get the same energy spikes and crashes that I used to get from sugary foods (I had/have a sweet tooth) and my teeth are happier  (read more about carbs here Good Carbs and Bad Carbs). […]

  2. […] Eat Breakfast – I usually am up to the kitchen just before 630 and have a breakfast consisting of oatmeal or muesli and a protein shake. Since becoming a vegan, I have found that protein supplementing throughout the day is really important to my energy levels. On weekends when the blender won’t wake everyone up, I will make smoothies from different berries, spinach, apples, carrots and bananas (which my wife calls “mud”). For more on good fuel for the day, see Good Carbs, Bad Carbs. […]

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