Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs

Carbohydrates. One day they are good for you, the next day they are the
worst thing since that teacher who gave you an
F in biology. Seems there
is a lot of confusion about carbs, what to eat, what not to eat. So let's try to
clear a bit of the confusion up.

Basically there are two kinds of carbohydrates, you have the "good" and
"bad."

Good carbs are considered 'good' because they tend to have a minimal
impact on your blood sugar levels. Meaning your blood sugar is not caused
to either spike or drop too drastically.

When your blood sugar levels fluctuate, that’s when you end up feeling
hungry, shaky, or even nauseous, and usually find yourself gorging on the
nearest sugary, empty calorie snack.

Good carbs are also full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which are all
necessary for a balanced, healthy diet.

Bad carbs, on the other hand, are full of things like sugar and white flour,
which send blood sugar levels skyrocketing upwards. Sure, they taste
great, they tend to make you feel full, at least for a while.

However soon after eating that 'bad carb', your blood sugar spikes, then
soon after, it drops lower than it was before you ate that bad carb, resulting
in more hunger. Because as your blood sugar levels fall lower than where
they were before, it creates hunger pangs. Yeah, it turns into a really a bad
cycle. One that admittedly is hard to break at times.

This is where some of today's popular diets such as Atkins and South
Beach step in. Although different from one another, each of these diets
stresses the need to refrain from food items containing things like white
flour or sugars.

Bad part is, sometimes the diets like this take it a little too far. Complete
abstinence from carbohydrates is not a healthy choice in the long run.

Carbohydrates are a necessary nutrient to the human body. Carbs supply
the body with energy and fiber. Bulkier carbs that are low in calories fill you
up. Even the human brain reacts to the ingestion of carbs, releasing
chemicals upon their absorption.

Want more bad news? Sometimes it’s those “feel-good” chemicals being
released by the brain because of the bad carbs that make it so stinking
hard to say “no” to another cookie.

Unfortunately humans are kinda programmed to head straight for sugar.
Fortunately, just like a computer program, you CAN be reprogrammed.

Good carbs are foods that are still in their natural state, or they are still
very similar to their natural state. They are foods that have not been
processed or altered by people or machines.

Good carbohydrates are also generally high in fiber. Foods high in fiber will
give you energy over longer periods of time. They also give you a sense of
feeling full. Foods that are high in fiber help to lower cholesterol levels, as
well as aiding the body in toxin removal.

Sugar, regardless of its source is a quickly digested instant burst of
energy.  Sugar is also directly related with serotonin, the “happy chemical”
in the brain.

But sugar is also an instant diet breaker.

So is white flour food items such as white bread, pasta, waffles, pancakes,
cookies and baked goods are, essentially, nutritional wastelands. High in
calories, low in nutrients and usually delicious to just to be mean, these
“bad carbs” are guaranteed to be bad news for your waistline.

So, how to incorporate carbs in your diet?

First, if it is white, in a box, processed, forget about it. Also skip anything
simply labeled “wheat” or “brown.” And refrain from any food items made
with white flour, which is simply empty calories, destined only to make your
hungrier.

If you eat too many bad carbohydrates, you will gain weight. The calories
are “empty” and they have no nutritional value. People who have a lifestyle
of eating bad carbs are more at risk to develop diabetes, heart disease,
obesity and more.

So what can you eat? Fruit, vegetables and protein are always good
options.

By the way, remember to keep an eye on how much fruit you are
consuming, as all fruit contains natural sugars. A good rule of thumb is to
pick fruit that has a high fiber or water content, which will keep you feeling
satisfied longer. Sugar extracted from fruit is no different than the sugar in
candy, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar, if you eat fruit that's a complex
carb, you get worthy calories because they contain vitamins, minerals and
fiber, nutrients that the body needs to perform properly.

Apples and berries are high in fiber. Melons are low in calories and full of
water. Try an avocado or a tomato; these fruits are often overlooked but
are simply packed with vitamins.

Watch your intake of citrus fruits like a peach or oranges, as these are
loaded with natural sugars.

Vegetables, on the other hand, are the perfect snack and meal option. Full
of everything your body needs, from antitoxins to antioxidants, vegetables
are high in fiber and naturally low in calories and sugars.

The exception? Try to refrain from starchy vegetables such as corn and
potatoes. (If you want a tater, try a sweet potato, without all the junk on it,
plain)

But what about baking? Use whole-wheat flour. Grab a whole grain bagel.
Brown rice, wild rice, millet, barley and oatmeal are all good options. Yep,
as funny as it sounds, the good old fashioned steel cut Oats (Quaker for
example) are really healthy for you. So long as you do not drown it in sugar.

If you’re really out to beat carbs, try adding some protein to any snack. Use
a slice of cheese, add a tablespoon of peanut butter, or grab a slice of
turkey.

Always remember it is the total number of calories consumed vs. the total
number of calories you burn each day that will make or break your waistline
in the end. Make sure to measure, record, and be honest with everything
you put in your mouth and the exercise you do that day.


For a list of some
Healthy and Unhealthy Carbohydrates



Yours in health and fitness,

Robert
C.P.T., AFPA
Mr. Robert
Your Certified Personal Trainer
Belleview, Florida, Including The Villages and Ocala, Fl
Individual Program Design
To Help YOU Lose Weight, Build Muscle, Get Fit
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