Carbs are not the enemy, but not all carbohydrates are made equal!
Let's look at good and bad carbs. "Bad" carbs are the simple carbohydrates which include sugars found in foods such as fruits and milk products and sugars added during food processing.
Refined grains such as white bread, white rice, normal pasta etc are bad carbohydrates. During the refining process,
these grains are stripped of B-vitamins, fiber and certain minerals. In
addition, they also have a high glycemic index (GI), negatively affecting
blood sugar levels.
Other examples of bad carbohydrates include chips,
cookies, sodas, bagels, cake, pastries, pancakes, soda, high fructose
corn syrup and baked goods. These foods are low in nutrient density as
they have little or no nutritional value and supply a large amount of
According to researchers at Yale University, bad carbohydrates
such as sweets and biscuits cause falls in blood sugar, affecting the
part of the brain that controls impulse. This leads to a loss of
self-control and a desire for unhealthy, high-calorie foods. A diet high
in calories contributes to weight gain, which increases the risk for
developing Type 2 diabetes and other life threatening diseases.
Okay, I hear your cries of pain, these are all yummy foods! You don't have to TOTALLY eliminate them from your diet but you do need to restrict how much of these you are eating. You can also find healthier alternatives like using wholegrain instead.
Which brings us to the "Good" carbs.
Whole-grain products such as brown rice, whole-grain pasta, beans, whole
wheat bread, whole oats, buckwheat, millet, whole rye, whole-grain
barley and whole-grain corn are considered good carbohydrates. These
foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are
beneficial to your health. Also, they have a low glycemic index because
they cause a slower change in blood sugar levels. Diets rich in high
glycemic index foods cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels, thereby
increasing the risk for diabetes and heart disease. By contrast, foods
with a low glycemic index help you achieve a more stable blood sugar and
improve weight loss and control Type 2 diabetes.
Don't forget your veg! Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, nutrients and
carbohydrates. Aim for -2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables daily.
Legumes such as
beans, peas and lentils are high in fiber, carbohydrates and protein and
low in fat.
Legumes may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease,
Type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer.
So don't hate on carbs, most are amazing, and a little treat now and again is absolutely okay.