The good news is that you can actually enjoy eating carbohydrates and lose weight at the same time. The crucial thing however, is to distinguish between "good carbs" and "bad carbs". This might sound confusing, but all you need to do is remember a few pointers and you'll find it relatively easy.
"Good Carbs"Good carbs are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and should not be avoided. They are vital for your energy levels and essential for your physical and mental health.
They are also a valuable source of fiber to keep you feeling full and satisfied, preventing food cravings. As a general rule, a little over half of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates.
So how do you recognize a "good carb"? They're basically unprocessed, natural foods like brown rice and fruit. Here's a larger list:
- Brown rice, wild rice
- Millet, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Buckwheat
- Wholegrain pasta and bread
- Raw nuts
- Low fat and buttermilk milk
- Unsweetened yogurt
"Bad Carbs"Here are the "bad carbs", the ones that are empty of nutrition and that will cause weight gain. Unfortunately there's some fun stuff in this list, but every time you get craving for one of them, try to substitute a "good carb" from the list above.
The "bad carbs" are refined sugars, white flour and white rice. They are quickly digested, causing blood sugar spikes which lead to fat storage. Bad carbs are processed foods, depleted of their nutritional value and usually full of preservatives, chemicals and unhealthy additives.
Bad carbs give the body a quick energy burst, like being picked up and dumped. Then afterwards you quickly get a craving for more. By comparison good carbs burn much slower, leaving you full and with much more stable energy levels.
The leading cause of the today's obesity epidemic, together with the onset of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, is these bad carbs. However, this doesn't mean you must never touch a bad carb to your lips. Our bodies are designed to manage insulin levels, and as long as you consume only minimal amounts you'll be just fine.
Here are some of the processed foods that you should avoid:
- White bread, white rice, white pasta
- Cookies and pastries
- Crackers, potato chips and pretzels
- Refined, sugary cereals
- Sugary soft drinks and sodas