BodybuildingPro.com Nutrition Database Nutrition Dictionary: A Comprehensive Source of Nutritional Terms Carbohydrates Database Carbohydrate Articles Types of Carbohydrates
There are a variety of
types of carbohydrates, and it is important to understand each one
individually and the pros and cons of consumption. This will help
you to know when to eat what type of carb, and in what quantity, as
each one is distinct in it's benefit to the body and to
Complex carbohydrates are
not as easily digestible as simple carbohydrates. They are broken
down before they are absorbed into the bloodstream. As a result,
they release glucose into the bloodstream at a slower pace than
simple carbohydrates. A detailed list of such carbohydrates can be
found HERE. Some examples include
breads, potatoes and legumes.
carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates are already in simplest form,
and are therefore more easily digested and enter into the
bloodstream at a faster rate. A detailed list of such carbohydrates
can be found HERE. Some examples
include fruit, cookies and candy.
The glycemic index (GI) is
a measure of the speed at which a carbohydrate raises blood sugar
levels. From this, a high glycemic carb is one which raises blood
sugar levels very quickly. The spike in blood sugar creates the
insulin response which means that your body will produce high
amounts of insulin to return your blood sugar back to normal
levels. This is done by converting all the glucose into fat which
gets stored in your body. This results in low blood sugars and the
craving for simple carbs. Examples of high GI carbs include
potatoes, corn, carrots, bagels, white bread, and gatorade (good to
consume post workout with a protein shake.
Low Glycemic Carbs cause a
smaller rise in blood sugar. Low GI carbs are preferred when losing
weight, but not the only choice. High GI carbs can be used when
mixed with protein and healthy fats. Some examples of low GI carbs
include plums, peas and spinach.
Refined carbs are products
that have been altered to increase shelf life. These types of carbs
are found in frozen, canned and boxed items. Key words to look for
on packaging to determine if the carbs are processed are words such
as rolled, bleached, dehydrated and partially hydrogenated.
Examples of these types of carbs include white bread, pasta and
Unrefined carbs are foods
that are in their natural state. Oranges are unrefined while orange
juice is refine.
Carbs to Avoid while
While trying to lose
weight, it is good to avoid most processed foods such as pasta,
white rice, fruit juice, sugar loaded fat free yogurt, most
crackers, cookies, pastries, white bread, chips, pretzels, bagels,
sports drinks, soft drinks, and candy. Once you have dieted and
lost weight successfully, these carbs can be re-admitted into your
daily diet in moderation.
Many of the most popular
diet plans tell you to avoid starchy carbs and high glycemic carbs
but they do serve a purpose. If you're working out your body needs
them for energy and they also help your body burn fat. There are 3
simple rules when it comes to starchy and high glycemic
Limit yourself to two
servings a day of each
Eat them in the first half
of your day. Always combine with protein. Doing this allows you to
eat some of the foods you like and still lose weight. For example:
In the first half of your day you can have eggs and potatoes for
breakfast, fruit salad and protein shake for a snack, and tuna with
veggies, balsamic vinegar & olive oil in half a whole wheat
pita for lunch. In the afternoon you could eat whey protein shake
& 1 apple for a snack, plus a chicken breast and spinach &
tomato salad for dinner.
Carbs You Can
Not many people are into
eating greens and high fiber cereal (13g of more per serving) but
these are the carbs the help you feel full, have the most
nutrients, and really boost metabolism so indulge all you
Another great strategy is
to vary your carb grams based on your activity level. On the days
you're lifting heavy and doing a lot of cardio you can allow
yourself a little more carbs than on the days you don't work out at
all. But don't use this as an excuse to indulge your chocolate cake
fantasies. All this means is that you can eat an extra piece of
fruit or an extra serving of brown rice. If you stick to these
simple rules you will have no problem shedding those pounds without
feeling too deprived.
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