Good Carbs Vs Bad Carbs List – Which ones should you stay away from?
Let me first start off by saying, not all carbohydrates are bad and I actually eat a lot of them. There are good Carbohydrates and bad Carbohydrates you can consume.
I eat a lot of Carbohydrates but I’m very strict on eating good Carbs and the timing of when I eat them. I will give you the Good Carbs Vs Bad Carbs List and when the best times to consume them.
I’m sure you have had plenty of advice and read many articles on how you should avoid Carbs when trying to lose weight.
The real truth is it depends on the kind of Carbs and the quantity of Carbs not the Carbs themselves. If you are eating healthy Carbs but are consuming way more calories than you are burning off, this is not good.
If you are eating bad Carbs but consuming less than you’re burning off per day than this is also not good.
The key is to consume only good Carbs and less than you’re burning off per day when you calculate your total calories in all your meals. When I got the most well recognized personal training certification the most important phrase I got out of it was, “Eat less and move more.”
WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES AND WHAT KINDS ARE THERE?
Carbohydrates are basically the source of food your body uses for energy.
There are two different kinds of Carbohydrates.
The first being Simple Carbs which include table sugar, honey and corn syrup. The second kind and the important ones are Complex Carbs which include Oatmeal, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes.
- SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES: They break down very fast in your system into sugar. They are like very quick burning fuels. You do want to eat less of these and you may be thinking why even eat them at all after seeing what they are.
Although there are some healthy ones for example Fruit. They have fiber in the so it actually helps slow down the breakdown of sugar. Fruits can have high Vitamin C and potassium.
You just have to watch what you drink when it comes to simple Carbs. If you drink soda, one soda can have 40 grams of carbs but that ALL coming from sugar. Soda is something I stay far away from and you should too.
- COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES: This kind of Carbohydrate takes longer for your body to break down and use. This means your energy levels will be more consistent unlike Simple Carbohydrates.
They are lower on the glycemic index which basically means they digest more slowly and don’t cause a quick spike in blood sugar levels. You should be eating a good source of Complex Carbs before your workout for energy.
I personally can barely workout on no Carbs.
Timing however is very important. I used to eat right before I lifted and was always tired. So after a bunch of research I found it was because I was still digesting my food.
I recommend eating a Complex Carb 1-3 hours before you hit the gym.
That way it hasn’t been too long and you have used up all your calories and you’re not still digesting.
STAY AWAY FROM THESE KINDS OF CARBOHYDRATES
You will want to avoid REFINED Carbs.
This means these Carbs are altered by the manufacturing during processing from how they originally were.
Some examples of high refined Carbs you should stay away from are White Bread, White Pasta, Muffins, Pizza Crust and some Bagels. These are the foods that will digest extremely quickly and raise your blood sugar right away.
They also don’t leave you feeling full like complex Carbs. This is a very easy way to gain weight.
I always make sure I’m getting WHOLE GRAINS and not refined ones.
The same goes for when it comes to WHOLE WHEAT, it can be tricky. Even though the bread says wheat doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
Sweeteners are also ones you want to stay from. The highest amount comes from Sodas and other soft drinks. If I could make soda disappear off this planet I would because children and adults don’t really understand how bad they are for you.
Instead of using the common sweeteners you should ONLY be using STEVIA.
Stevia has NO calories due to the way your body uses it unlike sugar. Every time I recommend this to clients or family the usual response is, ” but I don’t like the taste”.
Well unfortunately eating healthy doesn’t always taste amazing but if you’re really serious about your health, things like this shouldn’t matter. Let me give you a great example of what Stevia can do.
My mother drinks a ton of coffee with loads of sugar. I sent her a 10lb back of Stevia a few years ago. She ended up losing 10lbs just from substituting Stevia.
CARBOHYDRATES YOU WANT TO BE EATING
I basically stick to the same basic Four but you can switch it up.
I just found these can be the cheapest and easiest to make. Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes.
For sweet Potatoes you should be boiling them because baking them raises the Glycemic index while boiling keeps it low. Yes I know, they taste amazing baked and they are still generally healthy that way too.
As you can see with my usual Four they can be quite cheap. People always say eating healthy is expensive.
You can spend $5.00 on oatmeal that will last you 2 weeks, is that expensive? Same goes with Brown Rice and Quinoa. I bought a 10lb bag on amazon for very cheap. Very important you make sure they are pre-washed or you was Quinoa thoroughly yourself.
Trust me on this because after a while I was getting SHARP stomach pains and it was because of this.
WHEN SHOULD YOU BE EATING CARBS?
I explained above when you should be eating Complex Carbs, so you might be wondering if there is a time to eat Simple Carbs?
Yes and that time is immediately after your workout. The main reason being is you burn your muscle Glycogen levels during your workout. Glycogen is a form of Carbs stored in your muscles and liver and the main source of energy.
You can just google,” High Glycemic foods” to get an idea but Dextrose is the highest.
I mix this in with my Whey Protein Isolate Powder post workout. This means your body doesn’t need to digest it.
Dextrose goes to your muscles as quickly as possible replenishing your Glycogen.
So mixing it in a blender with the Protein powder is a great way to feed those muscles quick. You can find some fruits that are very high on the glycemic index level as well.
I sometimes throw pineapple in because some research says too much Dextrose may not be good for your pancreas.
So I personally use it every other day or two.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Carbohydrates are not all bad.
Especially if taken at the right time and the right amount. Complex Carbs 1-3 hours before workout and Simple Carbs immediately is the best way to maximize them benefits of them.
For the amount you should be taking really depends on your goal and body type.
Three body types are Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph and you can always find online pie charts with recommended % of Carbs for each type. I will be writing an article on Body types soon.
You should go with about 20-60 grams of high glycemic carbs after your workout.
This can depend on your workout and body weight but it’s a good starting point.
I hope this helped and gave you a good idea of what kind and when to eat Carbs and that they are not all bad. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions.
“Nothing taste as good as being fit feels”