Would you like to lose weight, increase your energy naturally, and dramatically improve your long-term health? You can – with ‘good’ carbohydrates! For years health and diet experts have been talking about the importance of eating healthy fats like olive oil, but now we’re learning that choosing the right kinds of carbohydrates is just as important for your health and wellness.
We already know that the human body uses carbohydrates more efficiently for energy production compared to fats and proteins. So normally it’s not a good idea to avoid all carbs, even if you’re trying to lose weight. But there is a BIG difference between the natural, wholesome, ‘good’ carbs our bodies are designed to eat and the unnatural, highly-processed, ‘refined’ carbs so many of us consume on a daily basis!
Over-consumption of these bad carbs is leading to a health crisis in America and many other parts of the world in the forms of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Unfortunately, many people are simply unaware of the damage they are doing to their bodies every time they eat low-quality, highly-processed carbs. What’s worse, many parents don’t realize that they are setting their kids up for a lifetime of health problems by allowing them to develop the ‘junk food habit’ at a young age!
If you want to learn about good carbs and how they can improve your life – and the lives of the people you love – you’ve come to the right place! GoodCarbs.org is a free resource for anyone who wants to learn how to identify healthy carbohydrate foods and use them to get fit and stay healthy. Enjoy!
- About this web site
- Why you shoudn’t avoid all carbs
- What are ‘good’ carbs?
- What are ‘bad’ carbs?
- What can good carbs do for you?
- Simple tips for incorporating good carbs into your diet
About this web site…
GoodCarbs.org is the only web site dedicated completely to the concept of ‘good carbs’ – those carbohydrate foods that have been shown to promote health, boost energy, and decrease body fat in a safe, natural way. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the role of carbohydrates in the human diet. We decided to help fix the problem by creating a simple, easy-to-understand ‘good carb’ information source on the Web.
Understanding the differences between ‘good’ carbs and ‘bad’ carbs can make all the difference in the world. Simply put, if your diet is based around healthy, natural carb foods – rather than unhealthy, processed carbs – you’ll look and feel great. In most cases, you’ll also significantly reduce your risk of developing serious diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer… among others.
Why you shouldn’t avoid all carbs…
Despite what you may have heard, not all carbs are bad for you. In fact, natural carbohydrates are an extremely important part of a healthy diet. Carbs give you energy and provide many of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients necessary for good health. However, eating the wrong kinds of carbs on a regular basis – something that hundreds of millions of people do – can be very harmful. Many experts now believe that ‘bad’ carbs are a leading cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high-cholesterol, and several of the other serious health problems we face in modern times.
What are ‘good’ carbs?
The simplest answer to this question is this: good carbs are unprocessed carbohydrates in their ‘all natural’ state – or very close to their natural state. In other words they have been minimally altered by man or machine, or not altered at all. Most diet and health experts agree that green vegetables are the ‘ultimate’ good carb foods. In fact, most ‘leafy’ fibrous vegetables and many fruits are considered among the best carbs to eat. Beans and legumes are also generally included on the ‘good carbs’ list, as are many raw nuts and seeds. Finally, whole-grain foods – including whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas – are considered by most experts to be among the good carbohydrate foods (although there is some disagreement over this).
Good carbs generally have these healthy characteristics:
- high in fiber: helps you stay full longer (and avoid overeating), provides sustained energy, lowers cholesterol levels, and helps to remove toxins from the body
- low glycemic index: stabilizes blood sugar levels and insulin production
- high in nutrients: natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes, & other phytonutrients promote health and help to prevent chronic disease
- low ‘energy-density‘ (except nuts & seeds): helps you feel full without a lot of calories, provides sustained energy, promotes healthy weight loss and long-term weight maintenance
- greater ‘thermic effect’: naturally stimulates metabolism and promotes fat loss
Many popular weight loss diets incorporate good carbs into their eating plans because they are so effective at lowering insulin production and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Also, because of their high fiber-content, good carbs make you feel fuller and help you to avoid overeating – a major problem for many people trying to lose weight safely!
To sum it up, the following food types are generally considered to be good carbs and should make up most or all of your carb intake:
- whole vegetables
- whole fruits
- whole cereal grains
Note: Some nutritionists include ‘healthy’ dairy products like low-fat milk and low-sugar yogurt on the list, but there is much disagreement over this so we’ll leave dairy foods off for now.
What are ‘bad’ carbs…
In general, bad carbs are refined, processed carbohydrate foods that have had all or most of their natural nutrients and fiber removed in order to make them taste better, easier to transport, and more ‘consumer friendly.’ Most baked goods, white breads, pastas, snack foods, candies, and non-diet soft drinks fit into this category. Bleached, enriched ‘white’ flour and white sugar – along with an array of artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives – are the most common ingredients used to make ‘bad carb’ foods.
One of the big reasons why bad carbs are harmful is because the human body is not able to process them very well. Our hormonal and digestive systems developed over the course of millions of years. Yet only in the past 100 years or so have humans had access to these highly-processed carbohydrates in abundance. Our bodies simply didn’t have time to adapt and evolve to handle the rapid changes in food processing and diet.
Because of this, most of the processed carbs we eat wreak havoc on our natural hormone levels. Insulin production, especially, is ‘thrown out of wack’ as the body attempts to process the huge amounts of starches and simple sugars contained in a typical ‘bad carb’-based meal. This leads to dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose levels – a big reason why you often feel lethargic after eating high-sugar, unhealthy meals.
Also, it’s important to realize that many processed carb foods provide large amounts of ’empty’ calories – calories with little or no nutritional-value. Eat enough of these empty calories and your body will quickly turn them into extra bodyfat, as anyone with a weight problem already knows all too well!
The regular consumption of large amounts of high-sugar, low-fiber, nutritionally-poor ‘bad carbs’ eventually leads to a much higher risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other long-term problems. It’s becoming more and more clear that the abundance of processed carbs and unhealthy trans-fats found in so many foods is a major cause – if not the biggest cause – of many of our modern chronic health problems!
What can good carbs do for you?
Simply put, if you eat only good carbs you can avoid many of the health problems that plague millions of people around the world:
- You will be healthier and fitter.
- You will feel better and have significantly more energy.
- You will lose most or all of your excess body fat.
- Most importantly, you’ll be able to get more enjoyment out of your body and your life!
Simple tips for incorporating good carbs into your diet…
- Try to cut out as much ‘junk food’ from your diet as possible. This includes pretty much all chips, candy, soft drinks, etc.
- Avoid or limit your intake of refined-flour baked goods, including non-whole-grain breads, bagels, doughnuts, cupcakes, brownies, cakes, etc. Also, throw out the processed, high-sugar breakfast cereals – stick to whole-grain cereals and oatmeal.
- Buy a variety of fresh fruits and veggies and begin to include at least 1 or 2 servings with each meal. Also, avoid getting hungry (and overeating) by snacking on fruit or cut-up veggies throughout the day – a single large apple can easily curb hunger.
- Eat a serving of leafy green vegetables at least twice a day. Also, eat a variety of other colorful vegetables as often as possible.
- Use nuts and seeds as healthy, portable snacks you can carry anywhere. Also, they can be used to add flavor and ‘texture’ to many different foods (especially salads).
- Eat a serving of beans or legumes at least 1-2 times per day. The dozens of different types of beans and peas can be used in hundreds of delicious recipes. Also, consider buying or making bean sprouts – they are considered to be some of the most nutritionally ‘powerful’ foods available!
- Always choose the whole-grain option when it comes to breads, cereals, crackers, pastas, etc. Just make sure that ‘whole-grain’ is the first word in the ingredients list and you’ll be fine.
- Choose organic foods whenever possible. Organic foods are free of pesticides and other environmental contaminants – this not only affects the taste of the food but its nutrients as well.
- Try a diet program that is proven to work. There are several healthy diet programs that are based around good carbohydrates. Some of the most popular include: Living (Raw) Foods Diet, Vegetarian Diet, The Zone Diet, The South Beach Diet, Okinawa Diet, and the Glycemic Index (GI) Diet. If you’re looking for a ready-made good carb eating plan you might want to try one of these!