Seven most important elements to understand about good carbs vs bad carbs.
You've probably heard quite a bit lately about good carbs vs bad carbs. It's a hot topic. And rightly so. The packaged food industry has heavily promoted bad carbs for 70 years! Why? Because they're extremely profitable to them. On the other side of the topic we now have people who are afraid to eat half of an apple because some fruits contain bad carbs.
Now, it's not all black and white. On the contrary, the subject of good carbs vs bad carbs is full of nuances and there are important distinctions to be made.
What's important consider:
1. What is your body type? Do you have a fast metabolism or a slower one? Do you consider yourself at the ideal weight right now? Or do you want to gain or lose weight? If you're at the ideal weight, congratulations. However, for the majority of us, this is one of the biggest reasons we watch our sugar and starch consumption. But there are still good reasons to avoid bad carbs even if your weight is perfect. All of us will benefit from better overall energy, focus, stamina, mood, sleep and even the skin tone if we carefully avoid bad carbs.
2. What is your average weekly physical activity? On a scale of 1-10, what would you estimate your "movement vs sitting" ratio? And what about intense mental activity? Your brain burns calories too, especially when you're working really hard mentally.
3. What is your activity level during your carb consumption? There's a huge difference between sipping on a sweetened beverage that contains some "bad carbs" while you're hiking, running, biking, or swimming vs drinking a sweetened drink while surfing the web or watching a movie. During any intense activity, you will burn the sugars immediately instead of your liver working hard at converting the carbs into fats that it will store all over your body.
4. Are you eating carbs emotionally? Eating refined carbs and sugar is surprisingly habit forming, and even addictive. A popular study shows that sugar is highly more addictive that even drugs like cocaine! Sugar is proven to activate more neurological activity in our brains 'pleasure' points than the most addictive drugs! Any time our mood or energy is a little low, we are susceptible to cravings toward bad carbs.
5. How much do your favorite foods spike your blood sugar? For instance, sweet beverages typically spike your blood sugar the fastest because there are not enough other Macro-Nutrients present to slow the digestion and absorption into your blood. For instance, even the seemingly harmless 100% fruit juices or smoothies have a calorie make up that is typically 75- 95% sugars and will hit you hard. In general the worst "foods" on earth are sodas, juices, mochas, and pre-made smoothies. On the other hand, a meal that is all protein will be very nice to your blood sugar.
The majority of our meals are not all protein or mostly carbs. Most of what we eat is a mixture of carbs, protein, fats, fiber, and sugars. This may seem obvious and not even important to mention. But this is where a lot of bad carbs are snuck into your foods. Especially pre-made meals from restaurants or the grocery store. Remember that bad carbs are extremely profitable and addictive. Bad carbs keep you coming back for more!
6. Why "Slow burn" is your friend. Your body actually performs best when your blood sugar is relatively constant. If your blood sugar drops too low, you become lethargic or experience increased hunger. And if it goes too high, your brain signals your pancreas to create more insulin. The insulin brings your blood sugar back down, but primarily by converting the excess sugars into stored fats. Also, the faster the rate of increase in your blood sugar, the more likely that your body will release an excess amount of insulin. This can drive your blood sugar back down too low which can create a roller coaster ride for your body/mind.
Therefore, when you eat foods that cause a large and rapid glycemic response, you may feel an initial elevation in energy and mood as your blood sugar rises, but this is followed by a cycle of increased fat storage, lethargy, and more hunger!
7. What is being pushed off the plate? There's only so much you're going to eat in a day. When you eat bad carbs like cookies or chips you've just incurred a huge "opportunity cost". Meaning that you had the opportunity to eat something rich in both Macro-Nutrients and Micro-Nutrients and instead replaced that with something that really won't serve you.
Now, we're human. We will occasionally eat the 'bad' carbs, and sure you can eat those kinds of foods once a week for fun. But remember to do so consciously, lovingly, and in a spirit of fun!
Summary: Your Action Items.
A. Eliminate all snacks or beverages that contain more than 7 grams of sugars each, (except during actual intense exercise when you can go as high as 9 grams).
B. Eat more superfoods to assure that you'll be happy and healthy because you're assimilating both Macro-Nutrients and Micro-Nutrients.
C. Avoid foods that contain: refined flour of any kind, white potatoes, white rice, white pasta, bagels, breads, cookies.
D. Eat lots of green vegetables! Eat nutrient-rich root vegetables such as beets. Eat semi-starchy veggies like zucchini and summer squash. And eat more super fruits like berries, and eat less of the super sweet fruits like banana, mango, or pineapple.
E. Love yourself so much that you lose any desire to eat foods that don't serve you nutritionally or don't match your vibration or raise your consciousness!
Love Your Body! Love Everybody!