While it’s true that carbs can provide you with a stored energy pool AND deliver consistent, lasting energy to your body, not all carbs are created equal, and it’s important to eat the right kinds.
There ARE certain kinds of carbs that will serve you and your healthy eating lifestyle better than others. I prefer to think of these distinct groups as “1st class” and “2nd class” carbs.
So, how do you know the difference?
Ask yourself how much has the carbohydrate food been processed? If it’s been altered from its natural, whole-food state in any way, it’s probably a sub-optimal choice . A lot of “health” food carbs that come in a box or bag – like breakfast cereal, instant oatmeal, white or whole wheat breads/tortillas are all a processed version of a whole food.
In most cases, the fiber content is lower and the sugar content is higher. All of this equates to the carbs’ increased ability to increase fat storage.
If any of the pre-made foods you buy have any sugar added to them, you could be unintentionally eating sugar all day long – and by the time you get to that evening glass of wine or want a little dessert on purpose, you’re already way over the amount of sugar your body can use for energy.
This is why so many people simply cannot lose the extra body fat, no matter how much they exercise.
My remedy for this starts with AWARENESS. Read food labels, avoid foods with added sugar, buy whole foods, eat and enjoy treats consciously.
Avoid foods with labels that claim “low-fat” or “fat-free,” like peanut butter or yogurt. In both cases, the manufacturer strips out the healthy fat your body would actually be able to use and adds in sugar and/or salt to make the food taste better. This means that in your efforts to avoid storing fat on your body by buying a fat-free product, you actually increase the likelihood of extra flab happening.
What Are Healthy: “1st class” Carbohydrate Options?
Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting grains is always the best preparation method – it breaks down the protective outer coating of the grain as well as the gluten protein, which allows your body to get their full nutritional benefit without potential irritants.
🌟Gluten-free grains: Amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice (all varieties, but especially wild, long-grain, and brown), sorghum, oats, corn (higher in sugar, but fine on occasion)
🌟Grains that contain gluten: Wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut,
Legumes are actually a great source of both carbs and protein.
Beans: adzuki beans, black beans, white beans, soybeans, anasazi beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans and lima beans, and more
Lentils: yellow, orange, green, brown or black
Peas: split peas and black-eyed peasVegetables
These fiber-rich, nutrient dense, leafy greens and colorful vegetables contain multiple health benefits, including vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and more. You can eat them in abundance on a daily basis.
Kale, celeri, spinach, endive, fennel, radicchio, chard, watercress, romaine, arugula, carrots, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, onions, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, collards, eggplant, garlic, leeks, radishes
Starchier vegetables will simply fill you up more quickly than the vegetables above, so you won’t need as much of them. They are also a nutrient-dense carbohydrate source and provide sustainable energy. As it pertains to blood glucose levels, cooking them changes their starch into sugars that are absorbed by your body faster, raising blood sugar levels faster than they would raw. If you’re eating a balanced diet, this won’t be a problem ― it’s just good to know.
Sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, pumpkin, squash, yams
All fruits contain fructose, a simple sugar that your body uses for energy. Fructose is slightly different from glucose and is processed in your liver. Eating too much fructose can cause fat storage, spike your insulin, and have similar effects to eating too much of any sugar.
Low sugar fruits: Apples, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, grapefruit, prunes, plums, peaches, pears, oranges, grapes, apricots
Medium sugar fruits: Bananas (higher in sugar when very ripe), kiwi, mango, figs, raisins, cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple
High sugar fruits: Dates, watermelon
To Sum up
Eat the right carbs: Carbohydrates from whole food sources like berries, apples, citrus fruits, potatoes, sweet potatoes
Avoid the wrong carbs: Wheat, grains, oats, processed foods & simple sugars
Eat carbs at the right time: At your dinner time meal or post workout
Eat them in the right amounts: Not to exceed 1/2 cup
Pair them properly: Always have your carbohydrates with fat or protein (chicken, beef, fish, nut butter, protein powder, butter, avocado, etc)
Take care of your short term storage to avoid having excess carbohydrate being converted to and stored as fat: This boils down to getting active. The most effective activity is going to be high intensity intervals, lifting heavy weights, or both. This doesn’t require hours in the gym. In fact, these workouts can usually be done in 20 minutes or less like my HiiTFiX online workouts
If you found this info helpful give me a 👍🏻 in the comments. Tag a friend and keep a look out for info on my next Little Black Dress 8 week Body Transformation Challenge starting soon!!!