Carbs are a hot topic and everyone seems to be confused on what they really are, and what role they play in our diets for health. I fully believe that Carbs, Proteins and Fats are all essential for long-term great health, and there is simply no need to cut any one of these from our diet. So let us break them down and simplify them as all carbs are certainly not the same, Yes they all turn to glucose(a source of energy) once broken down in the body and all are 4 Calories per Gram. But there are some major differences and that’s where the confusion seems to come in. I will break them down into 3 groups and explain the difference.
But first, we need to know what Glycemic means and why it is important.. Glycemic Index is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose(sugars) levels. So the lower the number 55 or less the less it will raise your blood glucose and therefore insulin levels. I will explain why this is important at the end and it will all make sense.
Group 1- Simple carbs (sugars/refined sugars)
Now this one is the one that gets a bit confusing and really is causing a lot of havoc in today’s society, so we will start here and ill try and simplify it. Simple Carbs are high Glycemic giving us quick energy but short lasting, some higher than others and that’s where we need to clear the air because not all higher Glycemic carbs are bad and I will even break these down for you, and ill start with the bad..
Refined sugar/high fructose(refined corn syrup) now these are the Bad ones!! Refined sugars are commonly found in candy, cereals and baking, high fructose is commonly found in candy and Pop and both are hidden everywhere… Ketchup, peanut butter, canned fruit, fruit juice, alcohol and many sauces are just but a few examples. Now, these are severely over consumed and High fructose is #1 in glycemic index followed by refined sugars. BUT not only are they high glycemic they are also man made so they are foreign to our bodies and they have zero nutrition value so not only do they spike our insulin levels they are also then very likely to store as body fat. To learn more about sugars refer to my Sugars Blog.
Simple White Refined Carbs (white flour, white pasta, white bread, white rice) these are also higher Glycemic, white flour is also a culprit in today’s overweight sick society, simply for the fact that it has zero nutritional value and is also now foreign as all the fibre is stripped, is likely GMO and also severely overused so this is another to watch for and try and avoid so that includes white pasta and white bread. In my opinion, white rice and white potatoes are not near as bad but should also be consumed in controlled moderation.
Lastly, we have fruits and berries now also having fructose, a completely different fructose(natural sugars) than High fructose these are a bit lower Glycemic, packed full of nutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants and a complete must in our normal diets, of course like anything in the right amounts.