Good versus Bad carbs

Depending on what diet you have tried in the past, carbs have either been fine to eat or have been ‘bad’.  So which is correct?  Based on what I’ve learnedin my journey, carbs can be good or bad.

It is the relationship between carbs and your bodies production of insulin that determines which carbs are better than others.  One of insulins key roles is to determine whether your body gets its energy from carbs or from fat.  When insulin levels are low your body burns mostly fat.  When insulin levels are high your body burns mostly carbs and stores fat because high-glycemic carbs raise your blood sugar levels and put much pressure on the pancreas to produce insulin.  High insulin levels are also associated with a state of inflammation, decreasing the flexibility of our blood vessels and causing premature aging of cells.

So how do we decrease our insulin or at least keep it under control?  Whenever we eat foods high in carbs (starches and sugars) our blood sugar levels go up and  insulin levels raise.  So the key is to know the glycemic levels of the carbs we eat and to choose those that rank lower.  The glycemic index rates carbs based on how much they raise blood sugar levels.  By reducing our intake of high glycemic carbs and instead choose low glycemic carbs, we limit our bodies production of insulin and we become fat burning machines rather than carb burning machines.

You can buy a glycemic index or Dr A Habits of Health book to help determine glycemic levels of foods.  Dr As book is much simpler to follow (chpt 9).  But veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, and cereals, breads, pasta and potatoes all contain some carbs.  But not all of these are bad for you.  If you make low-glycemic choices, it will help your body to burn your stored fat instead of it having to use all it’s energy to burn all the high glycemic foods you ate during the day.

So, I think that’s probably a lot to digest, so I am signing off for now.  Until next time.  Most of this info I learned through Dr As Habits of Health book.  Another thing toalways keep in mind is portion control.  Too much of a good thing can be bad.  So even if a food is low glycemic doesn’t mean you can eat unlimited quantities of it.

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