The nutrition wars over carbs during the last 10 years have led to some serious confusion about carbohydrates, their effects on our bodies and their place in a balanced diet. Are carbs good for you or bad for you? The simple answer is there are good carbs and bad carbs. So don’t be afraid of all carbs, just learn to tell the difference between good carbs and bad carbs so you can begin to make healthier choices!
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A few highlights from the graphic
- Carbohydrates are not limited to bread, rice and pastas. Fruits & Veggies, Milk & Dairy, Nuts and Seeds, Candy & Desserts… all of these contain carbohydrates.
- Good carbohydrates (also called complex carbohydrates) are good for you, because their fibrous content takes your body longer to digest, leaving you feeling full longer
- Bad carbohydrates (also called simple carbohydrates) are digested much faster by your body and leave you feeling hungry and more tired soon after you eat them. Think “sugar crash.”
The benefits of a low Glycemic Index (GI) diet
A recent article in U.S. News featured a study to determine the best way to maintain weight loss. The study compared a group of overweight and obese adults who had lost 10-15% of their body weight, and placed them on one of 3 diets: low-fat, very low-carb or low-GI diets. The low-GI dieters burned more calories each day than those on a low-fat diet.
“I think what’s been lost in the last 50 years of dieting is an understanding of food quality. We’ve been too simplistic with the idea of eliminating all fats or eliminating all carbohydrates. We should focus on the quality of foods and not try to eliminate a whole class of nutrients. The quality of the calories going in can affect the number of calories being burned off.”
- Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center