Not all carbs are bad. Eating good carbs can actually promote good health and help you lose weight.
Deciding which carbs are good carbs and which are bad carbs, and which carbs to eat while trying to lose weight can be confusing.
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Good Carbs, Bad Carbs
A rule of thumb is to stay away from carbs made with sugar and white flour. Those are the bad carbs. Good carbs, or slowly digestible carbs, are foods that take longer for the body to break down and use as a source of energy. They help you feel full longer, help you feel satisfied and help you lose weight.
What is a Slowly Digestible Carb?
Unlike refined carbohydrates that are digested in the intestines and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, spiking insulin levels, slowly digestible carbs are absorbed in the colon and take longer to digest. Examples of slowly digestible carbs are: oatmeal, 100% whole grains, sweet potatoes, raw vegetables, peppers, apples, pears, raspberries, blackberries, bran, barley and lentils.
Fiber and Slowly Digestible Carbs
Slowly digestible carbs are high in fiber. High fiber carbs don’t count towards the net carbs you eat. High fiber foods aren’t digested the same as refined carbs and don’t raise insulin levels. The best way to increase your daily fiber is with healthy food. Introduce high fiber foods into your diet slowly, working towards 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Eating these slowly digestible carbs helps clean out the body and promote weight loss.
Weight Loss Benefits of Slowly Digestible Carbs
Eating slowly digestible carbs promotes weight loss because your body takes longer to absorb the sugar into the bloodstream. This allows you keep hunger pains under control. Eating less throughout the day cuts down on your total calories and allows for a calorie deficit. Maintaining an even blood sugar level throughout the day prevents spikes that cause cravings and weight gain. Eating slowly digestible carbs is just as important as eating lean protein when it comes to keeping your blood sugar level. It helps you feel in control of your diet and stay on track.
In addition to lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of type II diabetes and other obesity-related chronic diseases, eating slowly digestible carbs can actually help you reach your weight loss goals.
Accorring to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Easily digestible carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, pastries, sugared sodas, and other highly processed foods may, indeed, contribute to weight gain and interfere with weight loss. Whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and other sources of intact carbohydrates do just the opposite – they promote good health.”