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Carbohydrate 101

Fitastic December 31, 2013

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The popularity of low carbohydrate diet programs has given carbohydrates in general a bad name and caused the wide spread misconception that all carbohydrates are fattening. The truth is many low carbohydrate programs are based on the assumption that all people are carbohydrate sensitive or resistant to insulin. Before you choose to cut your carbs choose the right carbs.

Slow is almost always the way to go when choosing carbs. “All carbs elevate your blood sugar, but those that rank higher on the glycemic index (GI) break down faster, causing a sudden spike in blood sugar that forces, the release of insulin to stabilize your levels.  Not only does this create a yo/yo effect of high/low energy that can trigger carb cravings, but research also shows that men and women who eat more high-GI foods tend to have more body fat.

Instead, choose carbs with a lower GI rating. The lower the food falls on the index, the longer it takes to be metabolized by the body, giving you a steady stream of energy that can prevent sugar cravings.  One exception to this rule is right after a workout, when high-GI carbs are recommended to help speed insulin and amino acids into your muscles, enhancing recovery.

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Eat Freely: Whole fruits (such as berries, apples and peaches) and vegetables (including squash, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli and peppers); nuts and seeds; whole-grain products; legumes; oatmeal; brown or wild rice.

Use sparingly: White-flour products, refined sugar, white rice, sodas, fruit beverages, cakes, cookies and alcohol.


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