Good carbs vs. Bad carbs and the Glycemic Index

Carbohydrates are essentially sugars or starches that provide energy for our bodies. BUT “Bad carbs” are high in glucose and, when consumed, cause a quick spike in our blood-sugar levels. This causes our pancreas to pump out insulin to deal with the excess blood sugar. The insulin then disperses the glucose and our blood sugar levels fall, causing us to be hungry again!

After ripping through a bag of Doritos, have you noticed that you wind up with cravings for more carbs?  These cravings are a result of the quick rise and fall of our sugar levels.

–Bad carbohydrates are very high in sugar and white flour and include: candy, baked foods, ice cream, white pasta, breads, and sodas. These carbohydrates, while tasty, can often lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

-Good carbohydrates, however have a low glycemic index and are generally high in fiber, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.  Good carbs raise our blood glucose levels in a much slower and sustained manner, avoiding the spike that leads to more cravings.


–Good carbs, especially those high in fiber, are essential to our everyday diet. They supply our bodies with energy and help to lower our cholesterol. We want our bodies to take energy from carbs because if no carbs are consumed, our protein intake will be unnecessarily used for energy, diminishing their benefits for muscle growth.

–Good carbohydrates include: fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice, beans, nuts, whole grain cereals and oat meal. (However, potatoes, rice, beans, and cereal are high in carbs, so if you are trying to lose weight, you need to stick to a 4 servings of vegetables, a couple of servings of fruit a day, and limit the amount of oatmeal.)

Now you may still crave that pint of ice cream, but it will be less intense and instead of grabbing the shovel, you’ll just take out a spoon. Consciously replace “bad carbs” with “good carbs,” and you’ll decrease your cravings and feel more energy. AND you will also lose weight!


There is an app for IPad/Iphone called, GlycemicIndexBuddy, which can help you track and count your GI points for the day.  I personally just figure out the net carbs and count my carbs for the day and keep it in between 50 and 100.  There is Carb Counting with Lenny app for Droid and for IPhone/Ipad,


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