Carbs: the Good, the Bad and the Starchy

by Joseph Printer
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Carbs the Good the Bad and the Starchy 1

Low-Carb is very “in” right now. People are trading in their bun for salad greens and their whole wheat pasta for zucchini everywhere you go. Just like there are good and bad fats, there are also good and bad carbs. However, they aren’t getting as much press as coconut oil and cauliflower these days. The natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables are a million years apart from the refined white table sugar and corn syrup. Just like “trans fats” are bad and “monounsaturated fats” are good, the same dynamic applies to sugar. Our brains run on glucose, and if you cut out all carbs, your body is going to suffer. Here’s how to get the good carbs in and keep the bad carbs out.

1. Fruit is your friend

When you eat an apple, that sugar leaves the stomach within minutes and is already being used to help run things in the ol’ body. The pulp continues to the small and large intestine where it acts as fibre. You’ve heard how great fibre is by now I take it…Fruit is also an incredibly fast energy source. Fruit sugar will completely change the way your workout. Fuel up by popping a few dates and maybe a banana. This will give your body the energy it needs to complete your workout with energy to spare.

2. Potatoes before grains

Grains have received a lot of flack in recent years. The thing about grains is that they are irritating to the gut lining which may be a good enough reason to cut them out all together. A lot of us are now sensitive to gluten and if you’re sensitive to wheat, chances are you will be mildly sensitive to other grains as well. This is where potatoes come in. Potatoes are a vegetable, even though they’ve been put in the grain category for God knows why. Potatoes have that good kind of sugar that your body loves. Any root vegetable will fit the bill as a substitute for grain. Try sweet potato, taro, kabocha squash or even yucca!

3. Avoid the bad guys

The worst kind of carbs are white table sugar and white flour. Get those out of the house ASAP. It’s ok to have syrups in small amounts, but they are still what they look like; “pure sugar” and its not the good kind of sugar found in vegetables and fruit. If you want some sweetness, try using stevia. It’s a natural sweetener derived from a herb similar to licorice. Add a little bit to your smoothie instead of your usual agave syrup or sweetened almond milk. It’s pretty much safe to say, that if it’s not a vegetable or fruit, it’s not a good carb. The exception to this is raw honey which is utilized by the body as pure energy. It would be beneficial to have a spoonful of raw honey before your workout to get you pumped up.

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