Good Carbohydrates Are Important For Your Health And All Your Organs. Our List Of Carbohydrates Shows You Foods That Are Your Weight Loss Friends
Good Carbohydrates Are Important For Your Health
Carbohydrates are one of the three major macro-nutrients that provide the human body with energy. They are vital nutrients that consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Carbohydrates are saccharides, which are known as sugar, starch, glycogen, and dietary fiber. Examples of their occurrence are blood (glucose), fruits (fructose), table sugar (sucrose), and milk (lactose). The various saccharide sources are all creating glucose, which is used as essential nutrient by the body.
Good carbohydrates are crucial as our main and preferred source of energy and the only energy source for red blood cells. The brain and the central nervous system also prefer carbohydrate energy over fat energy, and the latter is mainly stored in tissues for use in times of emergency (1).
Carbohydrates are also the major energy source for metabolism fuel and they are vital for the construction of organs and nerve cells.
The human body uses carbohydrates in the form of glucose - the energy source for the brain, which cannot use fatty acids as fuel. Therefore, the glucose level has to be maintained at higher levels at all times (2). The brain requires about 120 grams of glucose per day for proper function.
At A Glance
What's the job of carbohydrates in your body?
- Carbohydrate sugars create easily accessible glucose, which is the main fuel for all your organs. Glucose also creates your organs and nerve cells.
- Carbohydrates define your biological identity, i.e. your blood type.
- Complex good carbohydrates benefit blood sugar levels by keeping them steady.
- Dietary fiber helps you with a healthy, fast metabolism and regular bowel movements to eliminate toxic waste.
- Low glycemic good carbohydrates help you with sustainable weight loss, as they provide more nutrition at smaller portions and give you an earlier and longer feeling of fullness.
What are the health risks of carbohydrate deficiency or low carb diets?
- When the body does not get enough energy from carbohydrates, the metabolism changes from sugar-burning to fat-burning, so-called ketosis. Ketosis is an emergency response of the body in times of starvation and this is dangerous longer term and can lead to kidney stones, kidney failure, and gout.
- A lack of good carbohydrates often leads to a lack of important vitamins and minerals as well, which can lead to many serious diseases.
- Since carbohydrate deficiency is often the result of high protein low carb diets, the surplus of protein and fat from these diets can lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, and kidney disease.
- Ketone bodies used for fuel during ketosis are toxic. They can be likened to the toxins that enter your blood stream during a detox diet, which puts your body into a highly acidic state.
- Ketoacidosis is extreme acidity of the body induced by ketosis. This can be life-threatening for people with diabetes type 1.
- Ketosis is an abnormal metabolism state - it is a starvation state, an emergency response to the lack of the body's normal carbohydrate fuel source. Ketosis reduces the metabolism drastically. Any weight loss during ketosis will be nullified through almost certain weight gain once the body is out of its starvation phase.
Scientific studies show that naturally complex good carbohydrates are beneficial for health, so choose whole grains, whole wheat, and brown rice whenever possible. Complex carbohydrates break down the sugar molecules (glucose) more slowly and gradually, which provides a constant stream of high quality energy for all your organs and cells. Complex carbohydrate foods are also safe for a diabetic diet.
In comparison, simple carbohydrates release their sugars faster and provide a more immediate, short-term energy boost. Simple carbohydrates include all fruits, candies, pastries, baked goods, refined sugars, soft drinks, and processed carbs. Check our carbohydrates chart for more information.
Not all simple carbs are bad! The carbohydrates in fruits are simple sugars as they have readily accessible fructose that can be converted into glucose fast. So while fruits provide fast-releasing sugar, they have so many beneficial nutrients, vitamins, and fiber that they are essential for a healthy diet and a healthy weight loss plan. Fruits are important and good carbohydrates!
In contrast, meat, fish, and eggs provide no carbohydrates at all. Nutrition data for dairy products show that these are not good carbohydrates sources, as they only have about 2%.
Dietary Fiber Is Essential For Your Metabolism
Fiber is an important dietary need and is found in good carbohydrates: it has the extraordinary ability to bind with fat, cholesterol, pollutants, and excess hormones in the intestines, and facilitates a faster intestinal metabolism, which speeds up bowel movement and elimination of harmful substances from the body (1).
Fiber is only found in plant foods - not in animal foods. Fiber is a polysaccharide that consists mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins, and gums. Cellulose is found in plant walls and when digested, it acts as "bulk" that scrapes the inner intestine walls clean of toxins and other pollutants. Carbohydrate rich foods provide you with the necessary plant material to speed up your digestion and to ensure a constant healthy detox process of your intestines. Find the foods with complex good carbohydrates.
What Is The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index (GI) indicates how fast 50 grams of a carbohydrate will raise blood sugar levels within two hours. A low glycemic index level is 55 or less, while a high glycemic index level is 70 or higher.
The bad carbs that increase your blood sugar content can be found in high glycemic foods. These release their sugars fast and spike your blood sugar level within a short time span. In this category you have: white bread, white rice, white pasta, white sugar, all baked goods, candies, soft drinks, and all refined foods. These foods should generally be avoided, as they just add empty calories and no nutritional value to your diet. See our carbohydrates list for details.
On the other side, good carbohydrates are those that release their sugars slowly, and we call them low glycemic foods. Not only do these carbohydrates provide essential fuel for your brain, nervous system, and red blood cells; low-glycemic or complex carbs are also good for steady, healthy weight loss. The slow release of sugars secures a gradual, steady stream of energy for your brain and cells throughout the day, which keeps your satiety level high, slows your digestion, and makes you feel full for a longer time - even after eating fewer calories.
Your body can use-up the fuel from complex good carbohydrates for essential functions and no excess sugar needs to be stored in the fat cells. Low glycemic foods are: whole wheat breads, whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, cereals, bran, oatmeal, all vegetables, all legumes, and all fruits. Most of these foods are also high in fiber, which further aids with healthy weight loss. Our list of carbohydrates below has more information.
A word about fruits, white potatoes, and carrots
All fruits fall into the category of simple carbohydrates, as they have readily available glucose in form of fructose. And yet, they have a lower glycemic index and are healthy additions to a weight loss diet.
The low calorie content in fruits paired with the many vitamins, minerals, and fibers they provide are very important for long-term health and must be part of your healthy diet.
While white potatoes have a high glycemic index and release their sugars fast, they have many nutrients and vitamins that make them an essential food item.
The key is to eat potatoes organic with their skin, and to boil them instead of frying or baking. The preparation method has a major impact on the glycemic index: a baked potato can have a GI that is double that of a cooked potato!
Despite of their higher glycemic index, carrots have a medium impact on blood sugar levels. Since they are also low in calories, they are great for healthy weight loss.
Cooked carrots have a higher GI than raw carrots. You should however always consume carrots with a small amount of fat, as their beta-carotene is fat-soluble. Carrots have good carbohydrates and high amounts of vital beta carotene and other vitamins.
It is important to understand that the glycemic index alone does not make a food fit or unfit for a healthy diet or weight loss. Many other components, such as their overall nutrient content and the preparation method, play a major role in determining if a food is a good fit for your needs.
A general rule of thumb is to eat all foods in their rawest, most natural, unrefined, and unprocessed form possible.
The more natural your food, the better it will assist with a steady, healthy weight loss that is sustainable for the long-term.
Unprocessed, natural carbs are the good carbohydrates that your body needs.
Carbs Are Not Your Enemy For Healthy Weight Loss
Successful weight loss is possible with carbohydrate rich foods
The reason that low carb weight loss diets have gained such popularity is that carbohydrates have been falsely vilified as fat-inducing foods for decades. It is time to set the record straight about this misinformation.
Whether carbohydrates promote weight gain or weight loss depends on the type of carbs you eat! That's why we need to look at the Glycemic Index (GI) of our foods.
A diet rich in complex carbohydrates with low glycemic index will help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight for the long term.
- Carbohydrate foods (plant foods) have much less calories than foods rich in fats ad proteins (animal foods).
- Consuming complex carbohydrate foods leads to a quicker feeling of satiety, so you consume fewer calories and feel fuller for a longer time. The slow releasing sugars in the low glycemic carb foods are also digested much slower.
- Slow released complex carbs provide a steady source of energy for the body. As there is no excess sugar in the blood, none gets stored as fatty acid in fat cells.
- The fiber in complex carb foods add bulk and lead to a faster metabolism. This makes the foods physically filling, but also leads to faster elimination, which is vital for healthy weight loss.
- High carb foods based on complex carbs from plants, not high protein foods based on high-fat animal foods, are the key to battle obesity and to secure a long-term, sustainable healthy weight.
High glycemic carbohydrate foods are not your weight loss friends, as any excess sugars (glucose) not burned for energy will be stored in your fat cells. Instead, choose unprocessed, good carbohydrates with high amounts of fiber.
4 Reasons to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup
It is no secret that the popular and widely used high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has come under attack – and that is about time. This oft-ignored element reaches the top of the ingredient list of most processed foods and it is found in all snacks marketed towards children. HFSC also sneaks its way into so-called "healthy" cereals. The good news is that most of us are now paying closer attention to our health, especially now that obesity, liver disease, diabetes and dangerous levels of triglycerides are affecting millions of people. Here are four more reasons to stay clear of high fructose corn syrup:
REASON #1: It leads to numerous health problems
About 30 years ago, high fructose corn syrup was discreetly injected into the public in the form of processed foods, sodas, cereals, salad dressings and countless other grocery staples. Once considered a harmless and cheap way to sweeten foods, HFCS is not one of the good carbohydrates, but in fact a toxic additive directly linked to diabetes, increased triglyceride levels, obesity, heart disease, insulin resistance, and more.
REASON #2: It is man-made, not natural
Developed as a much cheaper alternative to cane sugar in the 1970s, high fructose corn syrup is a man-made chemical substance with an 80% fructose level and 20% glucose. Ingesting this artificial chemical can lead to metabolic syndrome, as fructose is metabolized faster by the liver and can lead to the many health problems listed above. Everything your body needs for liver health and overall nutrition can be found in nature. Whatever is not found in nature is developed safely by many leading health and nutrition companies, like Monavie.
REASON #3: Healthy alternatives to high fructose corn syrup exist
There are many natural sweeteners like agave nectar and stevia that are actually healthy. In addition to that, Monavie has developed delicious and nutritiously sweet snacks that use only natural sweeteners. You will not miss the artificial sweeteners after tasting some of the juices, shakes or snack bars from natural health food companies like this.
REASON #4: HFCS can lead to a decreased sense of taste
Regain your sophisticated palate! Blind taste tests have shown that people who have higher amounts of high fructose corn syrup in their diet are not able to taste food as strongly as those with lower levels. When taste buds are not constantly coated in chemicals and toxins they begin to regain their sensitivity, making naturally good and healthy food taste even better.
It is never a good idea to put harmful chemicals into your body, but many of us do it every day, and often unknowingly. We are slowly becoming aware that these often confusing ingredients in processed foods are anything but harmless sugars or good carbohydrates. They can lead to many dangerous symptoms and diseases. Even though HFCS comes from the natural product corn, its unnatural manipulated chemical composition makes it one of the most harmful ingredients around.
List Of Carbohydrates
|Type of Carbohydrate||Purpose||Animal Source||Plant Source|
|Complex Carbohydrates are the good carbohydrates that release their sugar slow||
Main energy source for the body, particularly brain and central nervous system. Vital for creation of organs and nerve cells.Complex carbohydrates release their energy more slow and gradual.
|NONE||Cereals, whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bran, wheatgerm, barley, buckwheat, cornmeal, oatmeal, maize, potatoes, root vegetables, corn, yam, peas, beans, lentils|
|Simple carbohydrates that release their sugar fast||Simple carbohydrates release their energy fast in short boosts.||Dairy products||All fruits, white bread, white rice, wheat pasta, sugar, honey, candy, soft drinks|
|Fiber||Is vital to keep digestive tract working and to speed metabolism. Fiber is not digested and passes through the intestine where it helps to eliminate toxic waste.||NONE||
Dried legumes like beans, lentils, peas are the best sources.
Dried fruits and the skins and seed of fresh fruits.Whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat, bran, peas, berries, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds (especially flax seeds), acorn squash, Brussels' sprouts