Good Carb Beginner’s Guide

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Eating Carbs Makes You Fat!! – We have all seen those headlines …

When we read them, most of us feel both bad and sad.

We all love eating carbs, so feel guilty about doing so, and the idea of giving them up makes us feel pretty sad.

After all, who wants to give up eating carbs. Nobody, really.  A plate of food without, potatoes, rice or pasta, which is what most of us think of as carbs, is pretty boring.

Sure, it feels OK to eat the odd carb free meal or follow a low carb diet plan for a few months, but most of us certainly don’t want to give up eating bread, pasta, rice and potatoes forever. Well the good news is  – You actually don’t have to.

You just need to switch to eating more good rather than bad carbs. Read on to find out how.

It is far easier than you think ….

What are good carbs?

 

OK, lets start by answering the obvious question. To be able to eat good carbs you need to know what they are.

First the explanation. It will really help you to understand what carbohydrates are and how they are used in your body. Once you know that you will be able to fully appreciate the wisdom of switching to a diet built around good carbohydrates. This is knowledge that will keep you motivated, so that you can lose weight, feel healthier, enjoy more energy and look your very best.

Later, I will provide you with a link to a comprehensive list of good carbohydrates. A list you can use to guide what you eat.

The three types of carbs explained

There are three types of carbohydrates :

  • Sugary carbs : As the name suggests these are sweet carbohydrates. They include fructose, glucose and sucrose. If something tastes sweet there is a good chance it is a Sugary Carb.
  • Starchy carbs : This group is tricky to automatically recognize, but it includes items like potatoes, foods made from grains and most root vegetables. It is foods that contain long chain glucose molecules.
  • Fiber carbs : This is food or elements of a food product that cannot be fully digested by humans. They pass through the body helping us to regulate how sugars are used within our body.

How your body uses carbohydrates

 

The carbohydrates you eat provide energy. The majority of them are broken down by the body into glucose, which your body either burns immediately or stores as fat.

Fiber is the exception. It is not turned into glucose, so does not provide direct energy. What it does do is to feed the friendly bacteria in your digestive system. These bacteria thrive on fiber. They use it to produce fatty acids, which is an alternative source of energy that our bodies can use as energy.

The trick to staying healthy is not too eat too many of the type of carbs that your body takes and turns into glucose. Remember that glucose can very quickly be turned into fat and stored away.

Whole vs refined carbs

 

The other thing you need to bear in mind when deciding which carbs to eat is the difference between whole and refined carbs.

A whole carb, as the name suggests is a carbohydrate which is still in the form nature intended. They usually contain a lot of fiber, which falls into the “good carb” category.

While refined carbs are the opposite. They have most definitely been “messed with”. They carbs have been refined. Often, these foods have been processed to the point where most of the natural fiber has been stripped out.

Examples of whole carbs

Here are some examples of healthy whole carbs:

  • Leafy vegetables
  • Root vegetables
  • Whole fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes

Examples of refined carbs

  • Sugary snacks and drinks
  • Heavily processed grains
  • Fruit juices

The interesting thing about this list is that they demonstrate the fact that healthy whole carbs can fairly easily be turned into bad (refined) carbs. Fruit juice is a classic example of this, and it is not just because manufacturer’s add sugar, preservatives and flavorings to the pressed juice.

Surprisingly, even freshly made fruit juice that contains whole fruit can sometimes not be a healthy choice. This is because if you drink too much of it you will be taking in a dose of natural sugar, that is far bigger than your body needs.

When that happens your body will take that good sugary carb, convert it into glucose and, almost inevitably, store some of it as fat. A fact that brings us to another important realization.

It is possible to consume too many good carbs. You need to eat certain healthy carbs in moderation.

For example, choose to eat a handful of strawberries rather than automatically reach for a banana. The strawberries contain far lower levels of natural sugars per gram than the banana does.

Eating carbs does not make you fat

We started this piece, by sharing the headline – “Eating carbs makes you fat” . It is a “fact” that is widely shared.

Fortunately, that is actually a myth.

Eating the too many of the wrong carbs has been proven to make you prone to putting on weight. But, numerous studies have shown that eating plenty of good carbs can actually aid weight loss.

As you have no doubt realized by now most foods contain some form of carbohydrate. Surprisingly, you probably also already recognize which of the foods you are eating contain them.

You can taste the sugar in a chocolate bar, you know from having to chew your salad that it contains fiber and no doubt remember being taught at school about starchy foods like potatoes and pasta. All you really need to be able to switch to eating more healthy carbs is a little bit of extra clarification.

Something you will definitely get from The Good Food Lab.

We are your one stop shop for all things healthy carb related.

Here you will find :

  • Good carb cookery books
  • Free healthy carb recipes
  • The latest healthy eating studies
  • Reviews of gadgets that make it easier to eat a healthier diet
  • Advice about growing your own fruit and vegetables

Using our advice you can ditch the bad carbs for good, learn how to eat more without putting on weight and lead a healthier life.