Carbohydrates made Simple
Carbohydrates have been misrepresented and given a bad name because of popular fad diets and health professional who aren’t willing to do their due diligence to know the facts about this fundamental macro-nutrient. I want to shed some light on the subject without getting too scientific. Carbohydrates provide the body with fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function, and they are an important part of a healthy diet. But some kinds of carbohydrates are far better than others.
What Are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are found in a wide array of foods—bread, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, soft drinks, corn, and cherry pie. They also come in a variety of forms. The most common and abundant forms are sugars, fibers, and starches.
The basic building block of every carbohydrate is a sugar molecule, a simple union of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Starches and fibers are essentially chains of sugar molecules. Some contain hundreds of sugars. Some chains are straight, others branch wildly.
Carbohydrates were once grouped into two main categories. Simple carbohydrates included sugars such as fruit sugar (fructose), corn or grape sugar (dextrose or glucose), and table sugar (sucrose). Complex carbohydrates included everything made of three or more linked sugars. Complex carbohydrates were thought to be the healthiest to eat, while simple carbohydrates weren’t so great. It turns out that the picture is more complicated than that.
The digestive system handles all carbohydrates in much the same way—it breaks them down (or tries to break them down) into single sugar molecules, since only these are small enough to cross into the bloodstream. It also converts most digestible carbohydrates into glucose (also known as blood sugar), because cells are designed to use this as a universal energy source.
Now that we know what they are and what they do in our bodies, let’s talk about good carbs vs. bad carbs.
Bad Carbs List: Aka Simple Sugars- BAD with a Capital (B) These Carbs Increase Belly Fat
The most important simple carbohydrates to limit in your diet include:
- Artificial syrups
- White rice, white bread, and white pasta
- Potatoes (which are technically a complex carb, but act more like simple carbs in the body)
- Pastries and desserts
Good Carbs List: Aka Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates are considered “good” because of the longer series of sugars that make them up and take the body more time to break down. They generally have a lower glycemic load, which means that you will get lower amounts of sugars released at a more consistent rate — instead of peaks and valleys —to keep you going throughout the day.
Picking complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates is a matter of making some simple substitutions when it comes to your meals. Having brown rice instead of white rice, having whole-wheat pasta instead of plain white pasta are better choices if reducing your belly fat is your goal. You may have heard of the term glycemic index which refers to the effect a specific food has on a person’s blood sugar. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI. If release fat from your belly is your goal then pick food that have a low GI number. Here my list of five Complex Carbs you should have in your diet.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brown Rice
- Chick Peas
My Favorite 5 Fat Burning Carbs
- 1. Oatmeal (Steel Cut Oats)
- 2. Kale
- 3. Black Beans
- 4. Blackberries
- 5. Sweet Potatoes
Bonus: Cinnamon and Chili Pepper add spice and kick to your fat burning food selections.
When picking your carbohydrates always select them according to what your activity level is going to be for the day. For example eating a bowl of grapes at 10pm isn’t the best idea because most people will be going to bed shortly after eating the grapes. Having grapes with a protein source for a mid morning snack on a workout day is a much better fat blasting decision. I hope this short article serves you, and please feel free to email me with your question and comments.
As always Eat Well, Train Hard, and Live with Passion.
Coach Rahz Slaughter, MPT
Free Download @ www.28daybellyfatdiet.com
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