What I think of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Low Carbs, and all of the Carb BS out there

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With a lot of talk, confusion, and controversy in recent years about “carbs”, I wanted to give you my opinion on good carbs vs. bad carbs, low carb, and all the other “carb chaos” out there.  I’ll also illustrate to you my favourite healthy carbohydrate choices.

First of all, although I’m not a “low carb” fanatic, I do believe that one of the major reasons why so many people struggle to get rid of any body fat is that they are eating a lot of processed carbohydrates such as:

  • cereals
  • pasta
  • rice
  • bagels
  • muffins
  • breads (even whole grain varieties are not ideal if you want to lose body fat)
  • sodas
  • juices
  • candies
  • crackers
Truth about ab foods

 

It is really hard to lose body fat if you’re eating a lot of any of these kinds of carbohydrates (even though you exercise very hard). In addition to causing fierce blood sugar swings and insulin rushes which can promote body fat deposits, consuming too many carbs also raises your appetite.

Note that I didn’t incorporate potatoes in the roll of processed carbohydrates. In spite of the trash talking they get from a lot of fitness professionals, I think whole potatoes (not fries or chips!) are a nutrient-laden healthy food.

Even carbohydrate sources that most people feel are “healthy” really are just excess calories that don’t actually give a whole lot of nutrient density… and many kinds of breads and cereals are passed off as “whole grain” with clever advertising, when in reality the main ingredient in them is refined flour, which is just going to shoot your blood sugar up high.

My belief on it is that the bulk of people struggling to lose body fat would do much better following these kinds of carb guidelines:

  1. Reduce your grain-based carb products in the diet (cereal, pasta, rice, crackers, etc) and focus more on the diet of healthful grass-fed and/or free-range meats and eggs, grass-fed raw dairy, and TONS of vegetables and fruits. I understand that it’s very hard for most individuals to give up completely their breads, cereals, and pastas.  But don’t worry, just put aside the grain-based carbs for a 1-day a week “cheat day”, and you can still do just fine!
  2. Instead of the grains for most of the carbs, try getting a lot of your carbs from vegetables, sweet potatoes, and a range of whole fruits and berries (NOT fruit juices, which remove the beneficial fiber as well as other necessary parts of the fruit).
  3. If you’re going to consume any grains at all, focus on the most nutrient laden and fibrous portions of the grain… the germ and bran. This means that the best parts are getting oat bran instead of oatmeal, and utilizing rice bran to include in your yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, soups, etc.  This way, you receive all of the most beneficial and nutritious parts of grains, without including all of the extra starches and calories.
  4. To restore the void if you’re used to eating lots of bread, pasta, cereals, and other carbs, try satisfying that void with more healthful fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and nut butters, as well as healthy proteins like unprocessed grass-fed dairy and meats, whole free-range organic eggs, etc. Healthy fats and proteins go a long way to filling your appetite, regulating proper hormone and blood sugar levels, and helping you to make real progress on fat loss.
  • Note on wheat germ – although wheat germ is a nutrient laden food (as opposed to the nutrient-poor starch part of wheat), beware of the gluten in wheat if you have any intolerance.  Many individuals have wheat/gluten in-tolerances and don’t even realize it.  It could be worth it to get examined to see how your body is managing wheat.
  • Also, for best outcome with grains in general, try to stick only to sprouted grain produce if you’re going to consume any grains at all.  The sprouting of grains facilitates elimination of some of the “anti-nutrients” in a few grains, and also enhances consumption of those grains.

With all of that said, here’s one of my favourite carb sources that is high in fiber as well as tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants:

Sweet potatoes or yams

I always opt for the orange varieties as a replacement of the white varieties of sweet potatoes. One of the problems with sweet potatoes is the time needed to bake a sweet potato for 1 to 1.5 hrs.

I cook my sweet potatoes in a different way that only takes 5 minutes and they come out delicious… and no, I will NEVER make use of a microwave (I talk more about why never to utilize a microwave to cook your foods in this article).

The simplest and fastest way I’ve found to prepare a sweet potato is to slice it into thin slices and place it in a pan that you can cover with a lid.  I add a bit of butter, virgin coconut oil (beneficial medium chain triglycerides), and about 3-4 Tbsp of water and lightly boil with a covered lid for about 5 minutes.

Once the sweet potatoes are tender, then add a bit of cinnamon and perhaps a touch of the natural sweetener Stevia (if you want a bit more sweet flavor) and you’re all set with a yummy, healthy carb side dish to combine with any meat dish.  Include a side salad and you’ve got the perfect lean-body meal plan.

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