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If there’s one nutritional topic that gets debated more than any other, carbohydrates would be it. Are all bad? Are some good? How many should you eating? When should you be eating them?
All are common questions you might find yourself asking.
The truth is that there are good carbs out there, you just need to know how to separate them from the bad. While all carbohydrates must be consumed in moderation in order to maintain your body weight and reach your goals, there’s no reason to cut them out entirely.
Let’s walk you through the bad carbs as well as the good carbs so you can see the difference.
When it comes to bad carbs, the biggest question to ask yourself will be ‘is this carbohydrate processed?’ If it’s been altered from its natural state in any way, chances are, it’s a bad carb.
Classic examples of bad carbs include the breakfast cereal you wake up to each morning, the sweetened packet of instant oatmeal you may serve up as a snack, the white or whole wheat bread you use to prepare your mid-day meal, or the tortilla that you eat with your wrap.
Grains are another ‘no-no’ carb source but most people let these slip by. They think as long as it’s a whole grain, it’s no problem.
The problem with grains is that we as humans don’t possess the mechanisms to completely break these down in the body and therefore, they can cause problems.
What happens when you digest a gluten or wheat peptide is, they force open the tight junctions in the stomach, which then leaves your immune system open to intruders. In the end, this can lead to inflammation development, eventually going on to cause major diseases including all the autoimmune diseases that are becoming so common in today’s society.
Stop eating grains and you can avoid many of today’s common immune disorders.
You’ll want to experiment to see how your body reacts. Myself, personally, I cannot even eat grains in any capacity. Even though this can be a good carb for many, as you’ll see below, when I added them back to my breakfast, I spent the next week feeling run down and like I was getting a cold.
Upon removing them, my symptoms cleared. It became obvious my body could not tolerate them. Trail and error is the best way to see how your body responds. Remove it from your diet for a minimum of 21 days, ideally one month to see if there’s a difference in how you feel.
Which now brings us to the good carbs. Eat the right carbs and you’ll be well-fueled for your workouts, energized throughout the day, and maintain a revved up metabolism.
Some of the best carbohydrates you can eat include steel cut oats, Ezekiel bread, sweet potatoes, quinoa (which is a seed, not a grain), gluten free rice cakes for snacks, white potatoes if you aren’t a fan of sweet potatoes, and white rice. Many people will question eating white rice, but what you need to know is that brown rice will go rancid faster in the body, potentially causing greater problems. White rice, therefore, is the superior choice.
Vegetables aren’t considered to be ‘active carbs’ due to their very low caloric intake, you can eat them in abundance without worry and they will always offer great benefits to your health.
Now you are better equipped to make good carb choices. If you want more information on grains, I’d highly recommend picking up either Wheat Belly or Brain Grain, both books which shed light on this topic.
What carbs do you find you feel best on?
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