Too Fit to Quit

Health and Fitness Tips and Advice

Good carbs vs. Bad carbs

So, I’m sure you’ve heard carbohydrates referred to as either “good” or “bad,” and you’re probably wondering if they really exist. Yes and no. Carbohydrates can be divided into two categories, fast and slow or simple and complex, but neither is necessarily “good” or “bad.” Let’s find out why.

Carbohydrates are used as energy for muscles and the central nervous system. “The body converts digestible (non-fiber) carbohydrates into glucose, which our cells use as fuel. Some carbs (simple) break down quickly into glucose while others (complex) are slowly broken down and enter the bloodstream more gradually” (Hand 1). So, because simple carbs are broken down and digested quickly, if you eat a larger amount than is needed for energy, the excess carbs will be stored as fat. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are digested much more slowly which results in fewer carbs being stored as fat.

Simple Carbs

Some examples of simple carbohydrates are:

-Fruits

-Some vegetables

-Dairy

-Sugary treats

-Sodas/other sugary drinks

-White bread/white rice

Complex Carbs

Some examples of complex carbohydrates are:

-Whole grain pastas and breads

-Brown rice

-Potatoes

-Wholegrain cereals

-Corn/carrots

-Beans

So, what does this mean for you? Your diet should consist of both types of carbohydrates, however you should eat more complex carbohydrates. These will keep you fuller longer and you will be able to eat smaller portions to satisfy your appetite. Also, most complex carbs, such as whole grains are much better for you than sugary foods/drinks and refined grains. Below is a breakdown of several carbs and which are better for you than others. As always, find balance in your diet, and don’t completely cut out any food that you love. Everything in moderation:-)

CARBOYDRATES

Best: Spinach-Broccoli-Prunes-Sweet potatoes-Beets-Kiwi-Artichoke-Blueberries-Cauliflower-Leafy green-Brussels sprouts-Green, yellow, red peppers-Kale-GarlicCollard greens-Cabbage-Green apple-Figs

Better: Red apple-Beans-Kashi-Tomatoes-Whole fruit-Red skin potatoes-Whole grains-CarrotsOranges-Grapes-Berries-Mango-Grapefruit

Good: Orange juice-Celery-Raisins-Bananas-Cucumbers-Watermelon-Natural applesauceGrapefruit juice-Green beans-Corn-White potatoes

Fair: Pretzels-White pasta-Grape juice-Apple juice-Instant potatoes-White bread-White riceinstant oatmeal-Iceberg lettuce-English muffins-Bagels-Wine-Rice-cakes-Pizza

Poor: Soft drinks –Honey-White sugar-French fries-Cookies-Cakes-Sugared cereals –Doughnuts-Cinnamon buns-Fast food breakfast sandwiches-Ice cream-Crackers-Onion rings-Candy –Beer-Alcohol-Chips pies-Pastries

References

Hand, B. The Truth About Carbohydrates. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=590

 

posted by admin in Diet and have Comments (58)
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