Good vs. Bad Carbohydrates?

Your brain gets addicted to high glucose levels which makes you crave more!

Carbohydrates are the most common of the three energy sources we get from our food. They are also the majority of our foods coming mostly from grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. They are essential to obtain good health as long as you stick to eating the good kinds. Processed foods, sweetened beverages, and refined grains (white bread, flour and rice) are the worst kinds of carbohydrates you can eat. Why are these carbohydrates worse for us? Because our digestive systems break them down too easily, allowing simple sugars to flood into the bloodstream. This then makes the hormone insulin carry glucose to the body’s cells. Too much blood sugar and insulin for too long can lead to more fat storage, less fat burning, as well as even cancer growth.

Keep in mind these simple facts to determine what a good carbohydrate is:

  • How much fiber is in it — The more the better!
  • How fast your blood sugar rises– The lower the better! (glycemic index)
  • How much whole grain the product contains — The more the better!

So pasta has a lower glycemic index than potatoes or rice, so it is a reasonable choice when eaten in moderation. Choose foods with less sugars (aim for 4 grams per serving) and more dietary fiber! Choose non-starchy vegetables. Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals—and with so few calories and carbohydrate, everyone can enjoy more! The following is a list of common non-starchy vegetables.. Enjoy!

    • Amaranth or Chinese spinach
    • Artichoke
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Asparagus
    • Bamboo shoots
    • Beans (green, wax, Italian)
    • Bean sprouts
    • Beets
    • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chayote
  • Coleslaw (packaged, no dressing)
  • Cucumber
  • Daikon
  • Eggplant
  • Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
  • Hearts of palm
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Pea pods
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)
  • Sprouts
  • Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, zucchini)
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomato
  • Turnips
  • Water chestnuts
  • Yard-long beans

2 thoughts on “Good vs. Bad Carbohydrates?

  1. Having been diagnosed as pre diabetic a few years ago I had to quickly adjust what I ate, did etc. I hate diets, just look at them as being forced to cut back or you have to eat this not that, depriving. I stuck with what I ate but counted the carbs keeping them in line with what I was supposed to. What happened besides not being pre diabetic any longer, was without thinking about it that I cut the portion sizes of what I was eating down, cut things out after saying I would rather waste carbs with these carbs that those. Your post has a great list and explanation of the world of good and bad carbs. Thank you.

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